The Braves announced this morning that they have selected the contract of right-hander Dereck Rodriguez. Left-hander Jared Shuster was optioned to Triple-A to make room for Rodriguez on the active roster, while lefty Dylan Lee was transferred to the 60-day injured list to make room for Rodriguez on the 40-man roster.
Rodriguez, 31, joined the Braves earlier this year when he was claimed off waivers from the Twins. He appeared in two games with the club earlier this season, posting 2 2/3 scoreless innings during that time, but was designated for assignment after the club acquired left-hander Taylor Hearn in late July. Shortly thereafter, Rodriguez accepted an outright assignment to remain in the Braves organization. In 44 2/3 innings of work with the club’s Triple-A affiliate this season, the right-hander has posted an ugly 6.45 ERA with a 21.1% strikeout rate against a 9.5% walk rate.
Rodriguez’s career in the big leagues began in 2018 as a member of the Giants. The then-26-year-old hurler pitched well in his rookie season, with a 2.81 ERA and 3.73 FIP in 21 games (19 starts) with San Francisco. Unfortunately, Rodriguez has struggled ever since that strong debut, with a 5.68 ERA and 6.04 FIP in 114 innings of work at the big league level since the start of the 2019 season. While it seems unlikely Rodriguez will return to the production he generated in his rookie season, he could nonetheless help a beleaguered Braves bullpen that has posted a 5.64 ERA since the start of September.
Shuster’s up-and-down role as a spot starter this season continues as he’s optioned back to Triple-A following his start against the Marlins yesterday. The 25-year-old has struggled to a 5.64 ERA in 52 2/3 innings of work (11 starts) this season, but figures to continue to act as starting depth for the Braves going forward. As for Lee, the lefty was placed on the injured list due to shoulder inflammation earlier this week. The injury was already expected to render him shut down until the 2024 campaign, so his move to the 60-day IL is entirely procedural.