In a deal that’s being called "addition by subtraction," the Phillies have subtracted a 3.95 career ERA and filthy fastball in the form of Vicente Padilla and added a 5.18 career ERA in Ricardo Rodriguez, officially becoming the player to me named later in last week’s trade between the Phils and Rangers.
Rodriguez will likely compete for a spot in the growing mass of humanity known as the 2006 Phillies bullpen, with an outside shot at the starting rotation.
The 27-year-old Dominican went 2-3 with a 5.53 ERA in 12 games (10 starts) last season for the pitching-poor Rangers. In 13 games (12 starts) for triple-A Oklahoma, he went 7-3 with a 2.91 ERA.
The last time he pitched in the majors was Aug. 8 at Boston, getting the start and going 0.2 innings, walking two, allowing a homer and surrendering four earned before hitting the showers on his less-than-Texas-sized season. He was placed on the disabled list the next day with a right shoulder contusion and missed the remainder of the major league season.
In four big-league seasons with Cleveland and Texas, he's 10-15 in 36 starts (38 games), starting a career-high 15 games for the Tribe in 2003 before a torn labrium in his right hip finished his season.
The following year, he found misfortune again. After being traded along with Shane Spencer to Texas for Ryan Ludwig, he began 2004 with Oklahoma before missing two months with appendicitis. He returned and made four starts before he was recalled to Texas, where he managed a 2.02 ERA, amazingly doing so while posting a career-high 1.50 WHIP. Then in July, he suffered a nasty injury from a line drive that broke his elbow. His season was over.
Walks, hits, history of injury and surprisingly few strikeouts for a pitcher with a dynamic name like Ricardo. If there’s anything to be said, it's that Rodriguez, when healthy, appears fit enough to eat innings, and, perhaps, carry bags of baseballs or light grounds crew apparatus.
Scranton starter, trade chip or mop-up reliever following an early blowout, with an outside shot at earning an emergency start or two. Optimistically, think Jorge Sosa. Every season has a resurrection.