Eduardo Rodriguez: What do we have here?

nvalvo

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Perhaps slightly premature, but here goes:

Eduardo Rodriguez has finally (*knocks wood*) thrown a healthy season. With three starts remaining, he has thrown 185.3 IP of 3.64 ERA baseball, going 17-6. He struck out 9.2/9, walked 3.3/9, and allowed 1.1 HR/9. He's averaging just a fraction shy of 6 IP/start.

The first half wasn't great: through mid-June he had a 4.87 ERA and was allowing a .782 OPS (.332 BABIP). Due to generous run support he somehow managed to go 8-4 in that span, and the team won all of his no-decisions. But the second half was unambiguously good: since his last start in June — an admittedly cherry-picked boundary to produce a contrast — Rodriguez has gone 9-2 with a 2.50 ERA, allowing only a .663 OPS (.290 BABIP). That doesn't include his excellent start in a no-decision against Philadelphia tonight. That's an ace-level performance for half a season.

He had eight games where he went 7 IP or more, and he allowed 1 or fewer runs in seven of them, including in starts against LAD and MIN, two of the leagues better offenses.

His RA/9 is considerably better than his FIP (due, at a first approximation, to good timing on HR — 13/23 were solo shots) , so he's a guy who Baseball-Reference (5.5 rWAR – 11th in baseball, between Steven Strasburg and Sonny Gray) likes way more than Fangraphs (2.8 fWAR – 44th, between Frankie Montas and John Means). This was Eddy's last pre-arb season, and we will have three more years of team control.

Rodriguez' health and his strong second half was lost a bit in the team's struggles and fall from contention, but I think it's one of the most optimistic developments for the franchise in a disappointing season, right next to Devers' breakout and Gilberto Jimenez's fantastic season in Lowell.

How are people feeling about Rodriguez with an eye to 2020 and beyond? Has he turned a corner, or is his second half just a good string of starts amidst an up and down career?
 

jon abbey

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It's not exactly a nuanced stat, but they just showed on MLBN that he is tied with Cole for 1st place in all of MLB for number of games his team has won that he's started, 23.
 

Rovin Romine

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How are people feeling about Rodriguez with an eye to 2020 and beyond? Has he turned a corner, or is his second half just a good string of starts amidst an up and down career?
IMO, it's too soon to tell, although the recent results are encouraging.

E-Rod's Achilles heel is his inefficiency. At the number of pitches he throws, he needs to get deeper into games.

But I think some of that is on the catcher/pitching coach.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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It's not exactly a nuanced stat, but they just showed on MLBN that he is tied with Cole for 1st place in all of MLB for number of games his team has won that he's started, 23.
Not a nuanced stat at all, but it is rather telling of the influence a steady and reliable starting pitcher can have on his team's fortunes. Rodriguez has been the one stable feature of the Red Sox' rotation this year and his starts account for nearly 30% of the team's wins. Imagine where they'd be if Sale, Price, and Eovaldi had been healthy and productive all year.
 

Pitt the Elder

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I'm no expert, but in listening to Eck and Remy, it sounds like Erod has really improved his command, especially with his change against lefties.
 

bankshot1

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The thing that seemed to kill Erod in the past few years, was he could not make the one pitch he needed to make to get out of that 2nd and 3rd 2-outs jam. And he would suffer the 1-bad inning syndrome. This year, at least over the last few months, he seems more aggressive, is challenging batters, and getting those outs.
 

nvalvo

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IMO, it's too soon to tell, although the recent results are encouraging.

E-Rod's Achilles heel is his inefficiency. At the number of pitches he throws, he needs to get deeper into games.

But I think some of that is on the catcher/pitching coach.
He’s averaged 6 IP/start this season. In this day and age, that’s a lot.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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He’s averaged 6 IP/start this season. In this day and age, that’s a lot.
He's pitched at least 5 innings in 25 straight starts, and in 28 of 31 overall this year. His average innings per start puts him in a tie for 24th in MLB (116 qualified pitchers). The leader is Verlander at 6.6 IP/start. So on average, he's getting two fewer outs per start than the guy who's been the very best in baseball this year. For contrast, ERod was T79 out of 124 in this category last year.
 

shaggydog2000

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He has a career best ERA- (75), and is only a single percentage point away from a career best FIP- (88 this year vs 87 last year). He's 8th in the AL among qualified starters in ERA, and 14th in fWAR. He's been healthy for a full season. I think this is the season we've been waiting for where he puts it all together. If Sale and Price were producing, he'd be everything you could ask for in a 3rd starter. He may not be a #1, but looking at his numbers he would even be a good #2.
 

Rovin Romine

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Last year he averaged 5.3 innings as a starter. This year he's averaging 5.9 - all the games count.

So I don't think it's safe to say it's a closed book at this point. Although it may be; as I pointed out, the recent results are encouraging.
 

RetractableRoof

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I know it's not an original thought - but one of his other weaknesses was/is his failure to put people away when he got ahead of them. Get someone 0-2 and just nibble his way to a walk and a higher pitch count. He seems more aggressive in this situations lately, (I think Cora even referenced in it one of his pre-game fluff pieces with Castig), which also contributes to lasting a bit longer in a game.

If he continues to be aggressive when it is warranted, I think he can be a consistent 15-18 game winner (assuming health, which may be foolish given his history). With a bit of luck maybe a 20 win season or two before he is done.
 

BaseballJones

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Some of the underlying numbers aren't quite as encouraging, but from a results standpoint, his trend is pretty nice to see...

Year (age): W-L, ERA, ERA+, bWAR
2016 (23): 3-7, 4.71, 95, 0.4
2017 (24): 6-7, 4.19, 109, 1.8
2018 (25): 13-5, 3.82, 116, 3.0
2019 (26): 17-6, 3.64, 134, 5.8
 

Sprowl

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I've heard no word in 2019 of Edro tipping his pitches. In recent seasons, telegraphing his slider has been his Achillles' heel. This year he doesn't throw as many sliders, he keeps his cutter out of the strike zone, and his four-seamer+changeup combination remains intact. Fewer mistakes = further into games.
 

Pitt the Elder

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Maybe an odd question to ask, but, at 18-5 and with a 3.53 ERA, does Eddie get some Cy Young votes? I know his peripherals don't stack up as well, but there must be a few old school voters that give a nod to wins an ERA.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Maybe an odd question to ask, but, at 18-5 and with a 3.53 ERA, does Eddie get some Cy Young votes? I know his peripherals don't stack up as well, but there must be a few old school voters that give a nod to wins an ERA.
He's probably good for a few 4th or 5th place votes. In any category where an "old school" voter might give him the nod, he's still behind the true front runners. Verlander has 19 wins and an ERA a full run lower, not to mention about 30 more innings in the same number of starts. Cole is at 18 wins. Both of them are 100+ Ks ahead of ERod too.
 

bankshot1

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Verlander is the CYA lock, but there is no reason for BBWAA voters, old school or pre-school not to acknowledge the year ERod had and give him a 3rd, 4th or 5th place vote. He stepped up when the the two aces couldn't, and he pitched like a stopper in the 2nd half of the year. He was one of the few positives in an otherwise shit year.
 

chawson

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Looks like Eddie’s lined up to pitch in Texas Tuesday against Lance Lynn and at home against the Orioles the last day of the season. If he wins both he gets 20.
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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Boy, if you told me in the springtime that we'd have four players with 900+ OPSs plus Erod flirting with 20 wins and maybe getting a few Cy Young votes, I'd have said "Repeat, here we come!"
 

Van Everyman

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It's funny that just as everyone is losing their minds about the "window is closing" that Xander, Devers and EdRo (and maybe Vaz if you believe this is who he is) have all had breakout years that bode really well for the team's future.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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It's funny that just as everyone is losing their minds about the "window is closing" that Xander, Devers and EdRo (and maybe Vaz if you believe this is who he is) have all had breakout years that bode really well for the team's future.
Edro is only under control for one year more than Mookie and JBJ. So he doesn't stretch the window very far, unless they extend him.
 

amRadio

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He has every reason in the world to sit tight until he gets offered Patrick Corbin money.
 

joe dokes

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He has every reason in the world to sit tight until he gets offered Patrick Corbin money.
Every reason except for the fact that this was his first season of making as many as 25 starts. The risk of 2019 being a health outlier might weigh somewhat in favor of getting a deal done sooner. (From his perspective; from the team's, of course, it goes the other way).
 

BaseballJones

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It will be kind of fun to see him go for win number 20 at home vs Baltimore. Would be nice to see him get that 20th victory.

Since June 30: 17 g, 11-2, 104.0 ip, 2.77 era, 1.33 whip, 9.3 k/9

Pretty solid.
 

Mueller's Twin Grannies

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Apropos of nothing, if he does get to pitch the season finale, that's the same day as the pre-gamer beer fest in Fenway. Might be a sauced up crowd ready to cheer raucously or boo everyone off the field. Should be interesting theater.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Every reason except for the fact that this was his first season of making as many as 25 starts. The risk of 2019 being a health outlier might weigh somewhat in favor of getting a deal done sooner. (From his perspective; from the team's, of course, it goes the other way).
That depends on whether he views his history as indicative of his being prone to injury or not. Last year's injury was a bit of a fluke, a collision while covering first. Prior to that, he dealt with a knee issue for a couple years that ultimately led to surgery...and no such issues since. In fact, I think the full recovery from that surgery was the catalyst to him becoming the pitcher we now see. He lacked confidence in his knee and it showed in his repertoire. Last year, with confidence in his repaired knee but prior to the ankle injury, he looked pretty much just like he does now, arguably better...

2018 pre-injury: 19 starts, 104.2 IP, 11-3, 3.44 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 110 K, 32 BB
2019: 33 starts, 196.1 IP, 19-6, 3.76 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 205 K, 76 BB
 

joe dokes

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That depends on whether he views his history as indicative of his being prone to injury or not. Last year's injury was a bit of a fluke, a collision while covering first. Prior to that, he dealt with a knee issue for a couple years that ultimately led to surgery...and no such issues since. In fact, I think the full recovery from that surgery was the catalyst to him becoming the pitcher we now see. He lacked confidence in his knee and it showed in his repertoire. Last year, with confidence in his repaired knee but prior to the ankle injury, he looked pretty much just like he does now, arguably better...

2018 pre-injury: 19 starts, 104.2 IP, 11-3, 3.44 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 110 K, 32 BB
2019: 33 starts, 196.1 IP, 19-6, 3.76 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 205 K, 76 BB
No doubt. And given all that, I wouldn't call him injury prone. But from his perspective, having experienced first-hand how those flukes can really de-rail things, there's some chance it's a risk he would rather avoid. In that sense he's different from your random 5th year pitcher on the upswing who's never been hurt, for whom "fluke" injuries are more af an abstract concept. Ultimately, I think he takes the big arb award and plays the market. But I was just referring to the idea that there's no reason he shouldn't wait.