Sometimes its the smallest of items that catch your eye. In Washington Times’ beat reporter Amanda Comak’s 2/12/13 spring training report, she posted this little snippet:
Right-hander Henry Rodriguez, who had a bone spur and a chip removed from his throwing elbow last August, arrived in camp on Tuesday. Rodriguez has been rehabbing all winter and he said that while he feels good to this point, his rehab is not finished. It will be interesting to see just how much he’s able to do during spring training.
Rodriguez’s rehab isn’t finished? We’re 6 weeks away from Opening Day. He had this surgery in August, nearly 7 months ago. It was characterized as a “clean-up” surgery, not a “repair” surgery. What is going on?
The team already has too many right handed relievers for spots. Rodriguez has zero options, so he’s either on the 25-man roster, on the DL or out the door via waivers (and you know someone would pick him up; there’s a lot of really bad teams with thin bullpens out there right now).
Be prepared for another 2011-esque situation where the team stashes him on the DL out of spring training so as to give him yet another lifeline on this team. This topic came up recently in the comments, so for reference purposes he was put on the 15-day DL trip on 3/28/11, and I posted about this topic twice in March of 2011, on 3/23/11 when he got “shelved” to work on his mechanics and then again on 3/28/11 when his official DL-trip reason was “neck spasms,” despite not one single report of any neck issues the entirety of the spring.
I’ve made no secret of my frustrations with Rodriguez, both in his up-and-down performance and in the method of his acquisition. This little snippet of news gave me yet another reason to potentially be frustrated with him.
However, this future DL trip may open up an opportunity for one of the handful of left handed relievers the team has signed on minor league deals with spring training invites. It seems almost reminiscent of Jim Bowden’s 2008 pitching staff cattle calls, the lengths to which the team has pursued possibly LOOGY’s this off-season. I see no other reason for all these signings (just off the top of my head, Bill Bray, Fernando Abad, Bobby Bramhall, Brandon Mann, Sean West and Will Ohman) unless the team really wants to break camp with a second left-handed reliever. A second left-handed reliever means only 5 right-handed relievers, and those spots seem to be taken at the moment by Soriano, Storen, Clippard, Stammen and Mattheus barring injury.