Well, Phillies fans, it looks as if the team is going to acquire a backend of the bullpen arm that they have so desperately needed.
However, it’s not the person most people have been clamoring for.
Richard Rodriguez would be a good piece to add to the end of the Phillies bullpen. In 38.1 innings, Rodriguez has pitched to a 2.82 ERA with K/BB ratio of 33/5. He has pitched to a 3.30 ERA in his five-year MLB career, while averaging 93.1 mph on his fastball.
A native of the Dominican Republic, Rodriguez is not really a true closer. He is not going to overpower hitters with his stuff, as evidenced by his career 9.85 K/9. He has been forced into the ninth inning because of the state of the Pirates bullpen, but he’s more of a 7th/8th inning guy.
While the Phillies could benefit from having an arm like this in the ‘pen, there are some worrisome aspects of Rodriguez.
Since June 21, or the first day MLB enforced the new ‘sticky stuff’ rules, Rodriguez has pitched to a 5.40 ERA. More importantly to today’s game, his spin rate on his pitches, especially his slider, have dropped by almost 700 rpms.
For those still learning, the spin rate is what makes the ball move more. Pitchers with the ability to spin the ball more are going to have more movement on their pitches. The reason why the sticky stuff use was rampant was because it allowed the pitchers to add more spin with a better grip. As the numbers suggest, Rodriguez was a beneficiary of some added spin.
As I mentioned on Monday’s Pulse of the City podcast, the Phillies need to go out and acquire some arms for the upcoming postseason run. Rodriguez is a fine piece to add to the back of the bullpen. However, his recent performance has to be taken into account when determining price.
Marchan is a really interesting prospect, but, with JT signed until 2025, he becomes expendable. The Phillies have shown an ability to develop catchers, and many of their higher end prospects are backstops. I am not giving up much more for Rodriguez than Marchan, though. A deal for Rodriguez/Tyler Anderson for a package centered around Marchan makes more sense.
Rodriguez does come with two years of control, and won’t hit the market until 2024. However, with how volatile bullpen arms are, years of control don’t carry as much weight.
The Phillies seem to be scouring the market for arms left and right, with Rodriguez in their cross hairs.
Let’s just hope the Phillies don’t overpay for a guy who seems to have lost some stuff after they took his sticky stuff.