With injuries to Yu Darvish, Matt Harrison and Tanner Scheppers, among others, it is easy to understand why the Texas Rangers would be hunting for pitching depth. The Rangers rotation depth is already thin, so any possibly competent arm would certainly be worth a look. With that desire to locate depth, it is understandable that the Rangers would have had interest in Wandy Rodriguez, who they signed to a minor league contract yesterday.
There was a time when Rodriguez was quite the solid pitcher. From 2008 through 2013, he produced a 63-59 record with a 3.48 ERA and a 1.271 WHiP, striking out 853 batters in 997.1 innings of work. Unfortunately, a forearm injury ended his 2013 season prematurely, and he just did not look right in 2014, posting a 6.75 ERA and a 1.688 WHiP over 26 innings before being released.
While Wandy Rodriguez may not be that same pitcher he was back in his prime, there may be hope that he could be effective if given a chance. Rodriguez pitched relatively well in Spring Training with the Atlanta Braves, posting a 3.13 ERA and a 1.304 WHiP. He struck out 23 batters in 23 innings of work, against only eight walks. Those numbers were certainly decent, and worth taking a chance on.
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At age 36, Rodriguez is not exactly someone that the Rangers will be looking to build around long term. Yet, if he is finally healthy once again, and performs well for the Round Rock Express, Rodriguez could get another chance at proving he is capable of being a major league pitcher once more.
It is highly unlikely that Wandy Rodriguez will be the answer to the Rangers pitching woes. In fact, if he comes up and becomes a mainstay in the rotation this year, the Rangers season may have gone completely awry. Yet, there is still the possibility that Rodriguez has something left in the tank, and could actually be a solid contributor for the Rangers this year.
It is going to be interesting to see how Wandy Rodriguez performs at Round Rock over the next couple of months. It may be that, if a starter is struggling, Rodriguez could come in and surprise for the Rangers. On a minor league contract, Wandy Rodriguez is certainly worth a gamble.