A former SF Giants pitcher returns to familiar territory not long after a promising rookie campaign. According to his agent, Dereck Rodríguez has agreed to a minor league pact to return to the Minnesota Twins.
Twins sign former SF Giants righty to minors deal
Rodriguez, who is the son of Hall of Fame catcher Iván Rodríguez, was originally drafted by the Twins in the sixth round of the 2011 draft out of Monsignor Edward Pace High School in Miami Gardens, Florida. Interestingly, the 29-year-old pitcher was drafted as an outfielder but committed to the mound after his 2013 season.
This is a move that paid dividends for the right-handed hurler as he began to show promise with the Twins organization, registering a 3.27 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 7.6 K/9, and a 3.18 SO/W ratio in 143.1 frames across two affiliates in 2017.
After the 2017 season, Rodríguez reached six years of service time, which was enough to elect free agency. He signed a minor league pact with a camp invite for San Francisco and immediately opened eyes with his impressive maturity as a pitcher despite being relatively new to the position.
The young righty debuted midway through the 2018 season where he immediately established himself as a legitimate rotation option. In his second career start, he yielded just one earned run in six innings in a win against the Philadelphia Phillies. That momentum carried over throughout the rest of the season.
He completed his strong rookie campaign with 2.81 ERA, 3.73 FIP, 1.13 WHIP, 6.8 K/9, and a 2.47 SO/W ratio in 118.1 innings. The Giants finished with a rough 73-89 record, but Rodríguez's performance gave a lot of fans reason for hope in an organization that was very much in a transition phase.
However, that optimism came to an abrupt halt as he struggled mightily over the course of the next two seasons. In that time, he posted a 5.94 ERA in 103 total innings, which included only four rough frames in 2020.
After being designated for assignment, Rodríguez became a free agent following 2020 and signed with the Colorado Rockies on a minors deal. He struggled to the tune of a 6.72 ERA in Triple-A , but it bears mentioning that Triple-A West is a tough place environment to pitch in, especially in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
He now returns to the organization that drafted him over 10 years ago. The Twins pitching staff posted a 4.83 ERA, which was the fifth-worst mark in baseball. It stands to reason that he could have a legitimate shot at securing a roster spot and, hopefully, recapturing some of that promise from a few years ago.