Veteran utilityman Sean Rodriguez is taking on a new job, as MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports that Rodriguez has been hired by the Phillies as a player development instructor. The move brings an end to the 36-year-old Rodriguez’s playing career after 18 professional seasons, including parts of 13 Major League seasons from 2008-20.
Rodriguez hit .226/.301/.379 with 81 homers over 2913 MLB plate appearances. Originally a third-round pick for the Angels in the 2003 draft, Rodriguez went on to play for six different teams in the bigs, with the majority of his 1103 career games coming with the Rays (553 games) and Pirates (384 games).
No matter the uniform, Rodriguez made himself valuable due to his ability to play virtually anywhere on the diamond. Second base was the most common of his many positions, though Rodriguez made at least 27 appearances at every position except catcher and pitcher throughout his career, and he even made a couple of mop-up appearances as a reliever in 2019.
Those two mound appearances came when Rodriguez was a member of the Phillies in 2019, as he played 76 games with the club and hit .223/.348/.375 with four home runs over 139 PA. One of those homers made Rodriguez something of an infamous figure among Philadelphia fans, Zolecki notes. Rodriguez hit a walkoff home run to lift the Phils to a 6-5 win over the Pirates on August 26, 2019, though in a postgame interview, Rodriguez described Phillies fans as “entitled.”
Discussing the incident with Zolecki, Rodriguez said that “Philly fans are just as passionate about baseball as I am. I was doing my best to try to defend two stars on our team, seeing if I couldn’t alleviate some pressure on them. It is a little funny that I’m back, but Phillies fans are passionate and I’m a passionate player.”
Rodriguez moved on from Philadelphia to sign a minor league deal with the Marlins in the 2019-20 offseason, and he played four games with Miami during the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign. Rodriguez’s time on the Marlins’ big league roster was further limited by an extended stint on the injured list, as Rodriguez joined many other Miami players in being sidelined by a COVID-19 outbreak in the clubhouse.
Rodriguez will now move into the next phase of his baseball career on the instructional side, operating at the Phillies’ camp in Clearwater year-round and working with the organization’s minor leaguers on infield work and baserunning. We at MLB Trade Rumors congratulate Rodriguez on a fine playing career and we wish him the best in his new role.