Padres attend workout of Cuban RHP Yariel Rodriguez

Credit: Cuba Noticias

Credit: Japan Forward

Per Francys Romero, the San Diego Padres attended a workout on Saturday for Cuban RHP Yariel Rodriguez.

There is no doubt the Padres need pitching, and Rodriguez could be a bargain this winter.

The 27-year-old spent the last three seasons pitching for the NPB’s Chunichi Dragons in Japan. He was granted free agency earlier this month and could be a hot commodity this off-season. In Japan, Rodriguez recorded a 3.03 ERA, a 1.226 WHIP, and a strikeout rate of 25.4 % in 175.1 innings. He pitched solely out of the pen, but there are thoughts that the right-hander could be a viable pitcher as a starter.

Rodriguez pitched for Cuba in the latest World Baseball Classic, and he threw 7.1 innings, striking out ten batters and allowing two earned runs. Both of his appearances came as a starter and showed that he is capable of pitching at the beginning of games against top competition.

MLBTR (Major League Baseball Trade Rumors) ranked Rodriguez No. 28 on their annual Top 50 MLB Free Agents list earlier this month. They projected him to earn a four-year/$32 million deal in signing this winter with a team.

Up to 15 teams witnessed a workout by Rodriguez last month.

On Saturday, the latest private workout was attended by the Padres and the Boston Red Sox. That is it. It is not clear if that means the two clubs are the most serious suitors. Both need pitching, and it makes sense that both teams are taking a hard look at the pitcher.

The value of Rodriguez really increases if he can indeed be effective as a starter in the majors. At the very least, he should be a solid middle reliever, and that has excellent value in itself.

I'd like this amount to  

The right-handed pitcher throws several pitches and commands them all very well. His fastball sits 94-97 mph, and has decent movement. Reports are that he topped out at 99-100 mph during his last appearances in Japan. His slider and curveball are both described as above average. Throughout his career, Rodriguez has shown the ability to strikeout batters, though he is not considered dominant. Rodriguez also throws a split-finger fastball and a changeup. With five pitches, there is no doubt he could get through lineups a third time around.

With a smooth, repeatable motion, the thought is that he will be able to eat innings as a starter.

Rodriguez has a hesitation at the top of his windup, like many pitchers from Japan. He will be difficult to hit and, given his age, could be a solid pitcher in the majors for a long time. The Padres are definitely interested, but it will all come down to dollars and cents for San Diego.

(Visited 395 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *