Rodríguez, 27 in April, was a notable prospect in the Astros’ system as he climbed the minor league ladder. From 2016 to 2019, he threw 225 1/3 minor league innings with a 2.40 earned run average, pairing a 25.6% strikeout rate with a 7.5% walk rate. He was added to the club’s 40-man roster in November of 2019 to keep him out of the Rule 5 draft and was considered the #23 prospect in the system by Baseball America going into 2020.
He then appeared in nine major league games over the next couple of seasons, pitching in five contests in 2020 and four more in 2021. He tossed 16 innings with a 4.50 ERA in that small sample. The Tigers claimed him off waivers in August of 2021 but kept him in the minors. He finished that year having thrown 62 Triple-A innings between the two systems, with a combined 5.37 ERA.
The Tigers outrighted him off the roster in November of 2021 but he didn’t have the ability to elect free agency, sticking with the club as non-roster depth. In 2022, he made 15 starts and four relief appearances at Triple-A with a 6.92 ERA in his 65 innings. He was released in August and signed on with the Sioux City Explorers of the American Association of Professional Baseball, an independent league. He tossed 30 innings over five starts for that club with an ERA of 1.50. He then spent 2023 with the Sultanes de Monterrey of the Mexican League, posting a 2.76 ERA in 94 2/3 innings there.
The former prospect obviously struggled in his last taste of affiliated ball but has shown some encouraging results over the past year-plus. The righty will now head to Taiwan to see how things fare over there. The CPBL is considered to be a lower level of competition than Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball or the Korea Baseball Organization, but Rodríguez is still young and could perhaps get himself back on track and pitch his way into other opportunities.