Joely Rodriguez’s Phillies career officially came to an end Tuesday, when the club announced it had traded the left-hander to the Texas Rangers for a player to be named later or cash.
Rodriguez, picked up from Pittsburgh when the Pirates acquired Antonio “Tony No-Dad” Bastardo during the 2014-15 offseason, logged 36.2 Major League innings across the 2016-17 seasons. He was largely ineffective and was designated for assignment last week.
Though he sports a 93-95 MPH fastball and tricky arm slot from the left side, Rodriguez often found himself absent control of the strike zone; he brandished a perilously balanced 18:15 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 27 innings this year, neither number considered at all palatable despite the relatively small sample.
Rodriguez often found himself asked to play mop-up man, despite being the only lefty in the pen for a large chunk of the season. His seven relief appearances of 30-plus pitches has him currently tied for sixth in the Majors in that category (first among Phillies hurlers), and though he has a lot of minor league experience as a starter, he couldn’t seem to strike a balance of managing his stuff between short and long relief appearances with the big club.
His lowlight to-date came on May 18 in Arlington, home of his new team, when Joely was charged with seven runs on six hits and two walks, throwing 38 pitches to 10 batters and retiring only two. He made just seven more appearances afterward, striking out four and walking four and allowing five of seven inherited runners to score.
He now gets a chance to start over in the American League, alongside fellow former Phillies lefties Cole Hamels and Jake Diekman. But they’re both hurt. Really it’s just a good time for left-handed Philly pitchers of all types and status.