Detroit Tigers Claim SF Giants RHP Dereck Rodriguez Off Waivers
By Marc Delucchi
The Detroit Tigers claimed righthanded pitcher Dereck Rodriguez off waivers from the SF Giants. Rodriguez had been supplying pitching depth for the Giants staff.
According to multiple Bay Area reporters, including KNBR’s Mark Sanchez, the Detroit Tigers claimed Dereck Rodriguez off waivers from the SF Giants. Rodriguez, a former outfielder who had success after being converted to a right-handed pitcher, hopes to help a young Tigers rotation beleaguered by injuries and poor performance.
The Giants designated Rodriguez for assignment last week to clear a 40-man roster spot for outfielder Joey Rickard. He had been optioned to the alternate site the week before for another defensive-minded outfielder: Steven Duggar.
On the season, the 28-year old appeared in 2 games, completed 4 innings, allowed 10 hits, 6 earned runs, walked 3 batters, and managed just 2 strikeouts. It’s now been more than a year since his sensational rookie season in 2018. Over 221.1 career innings, his ERA is now 4.27 with a FIP of 4.74.
While he never racked up punchouts with his low-90s fastball, at his best, Rodriguez managed to limit hard contact by working off an above-average curveball and mixing in a cutter.
According to the Tigers PR team, Rodriguez has been optioned to Detroit’s alternate site. So while he has a 40-man roster spot, it doesn’t appear he will have a firmer grip on a starting spot in Detroit either.
The Tigers are currently 16-16 in the AL Central. They’ve begun promoting a number of their best young pitching prospects, including the 1st overall pick in the 2018 MLB draft Casey Mize. With such a young rotation, the team might like Rodriguez’s ability to pitch to contact and eat innings if they do want to give one of their younger arms a day off.
Rodriguez’s father, of course, is Hall of Fame catcher Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez. Pudge played in Detroit from 2004-2008.
While Rodriguez never became the mainstay in the Giants rotation like some thought he would, he ultimately had a productive career in the orange and black. He’ll hope to regain his 2018 form with the Tigers.