Pittsburgh Pirates: Wandy Rodriguez Concerns Outweigh Joy of Victory Against Cincinnati Reds
The Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds played a nine inning game that lasted nearly 24 hours. Okay, not really, but from the first pitch to the last pitch, it was almost a 24 hour span, just with a large intermission between the sixth and seventh innings. After the sixth inning, the game was suspended until Tuesday evening.
The first six innings, the innings played on Monday, were played in horrible conditions. The infield was full of puddles of water and the field wasn’t really playable. The teams basically kept taking turns punching each other with solo home runs until the game was suspended. For the Pirates, the concerns surrounding their starting pitcher, Wandy Rodriguez, outweighed any joy that they could have experienced from all of the home runs.
Of the 10 home runs hit in the game, three of them were served up by Rodriguez. Through three starts, the lefty is allowing 3.38 HR/9. Through his career, he has allowed 1.05 HR/9, so his numbers in 2014 are clearly inflated. If the majority of the home runs seemed fluky, there wouldn’t be any reason for concern. However, most of the home runs have been hit on terrible pitches that Rodriguez either left hanging or on fastballs that were basically right down the middle.
A soft-tosser like Rodriguez needs to rely heavily on fastball command. So far in 2014, he hasn’t found his command, and it is showing. It’s obviously too early to consider removing Rodriguez from the rotation or anything drastic like that, but he will need to find his command soon, or things will really start to get ugly.