Miami Marlins sign former Atlanta relief pitcher
Miami Marlins signed a relief pitcher on a Minor League deal. The relief pitcher is none other than a former Atlanta Brave Richard Rodriguez. The Fish have high expectations for the upcoming season and needed to improve bullpen depth. Rodriguez has a pretty solid track record so this could be a great signing for The Fish. Let's take a look at what he brings to the table if he makes the bullpen for Opening Day.
Richard Rodriguez gives the Miami Marlins more depth.
Richard Rodriguez debuted in 2017 for the Baltimore Orioles with a 14.29 ERA/13.39 FIP and 4.8 K/9 and 4.8 BB/9 in 5 games and 5.2 innings pitched. That was a horrible debut and he ended up leaving the team via free agency, and ending up with the Houston Astros. Houston later traded him to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
How did Richard Rodriguez do with the Pittsburgh Pirates? In his first season with then in 2018, he pitched to a 2.47 ERA/2.60 FIP with 11.4 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9 in 63 games and 69.1 innings pitched. That was an excellent breakout. In 2019, he pitched to a 3.72 ERA/5.22 FIP with 8.7 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9. Rodriguez bounced back in 2020 with a 2.70 ERA/2.85 FIP with 13.1 K/9 and 1.9 BB/9 in 24 games and 23.1 innings pitched.
Richard Rodriguez split 2021 between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Atlanta Braves, pitching to a combined 2.94 ERA/4.04 FIP with 5.9 K/9 and 1.4 BB/9. As you can clearly see the K/9 went down, but he also spent some time as Pittsburgh's closer accumulating 14 saves. Rodriguez pitched basically the same for both teams (2.82 ERA with Pittsburgh and a 3.12 ERA with Atlanta after the trade). Atlanta surprisingly non-tendered him after the season
Richard Rodriguez received an 80 game suspension for Boldenone (a performance-enhancing substance). That led to him missing half of the 2022 season, after which he signed a Minor League deal with the New York Yankees. He never pitched for the Major League team, producing a disappointing 3.96 ERA in 25 innings pitched in the Minor Leagues.
What can the Miami Marlins expect from Richard Rodriguez? Hopefully he can get himself back on track and once again become a late-inning difference-maker. Worst case scenario is that it's a Minor League deal for little cost for the team.