Atlanta Braves 2021 Season Review: Richard Rodriguez

When you win a World series like the Braves just did, inactive moves throughout the season don’t really matter, at least not looking back. That’s pretty much where things stand with Richard Rodriguez, the right-handed painkiller that the Braves acquired mid-season to strengthen their bull hooves.

How to get

After months of volatile activity from their team, especially from the right, Baseball Operations President Alex Anthopoulos sought to strengthen the relief corps by adding an extra arm other high leverage. In the last minutes of the Trading Term, Anthopoulos made a deal with the Pirates to have them closer at the time, Richard Rodriguez. The price is not particularly cheap. Because Rodriguez has had years in control of the team, the Pirates are looking for real talent to return in any deal. The Braves have agreed to part ways with Bryse Wilson, longtime potential/farmer potential. Wilson has spent most of his time in Atlanta’s system as one of their top pitching prospects, but has stalled a bit at the top level and been moved back and forth between the underdogs. adolescents and professionals when necessary. Anthopoulos felt it was time to pull the plug and get value for Wilson while he could, and the transaction was complete. The Braves also include 23-year-old right-handed pitcher Ricky DeVito, a lower-division prospect due to an elbow injury in the deal.


Expectations for Rodriguez are probably sky-high, because he dominated Pittsburgh, placing 1.3 fWAR, 2.82 ERA and 2.60 FIP before the trade. In 3 seasons and over 190 games in his career with the Pirates, Rodriguez had a 2.98 ERA / 3.50 FIP. He also held opponents to a .221 / .280 / .350 slash while overtaking 218 shots and walking only 52. ​​By every measure we used to judge throwers ball, Rodriguez has spent the first three seasons of his career as an incredible dose (although he did have a bright spot in 2019 that his 2018, 2020 and early 2021 have been). disappears), and justifiably, that’s what the Braves think they’ll get when they trade for him.

However, Rodriguez’s xFIP in 2021, before the transaction, is 4.73. His hit rate has plummeted from 2018/2020 levels, and while he’s gone with no one, he’s given up a crazy ballooning rate of almost 60% while not letting them off the field.

Performance in 2021

Rodriguez’s 2021 performance against Atlanta highlights a game-wide shift in understanding how pitcher stats work. 20 years ago, his 3.94 ERA with the Braves would have been considered a solid contribution, and it’s almost impossible for him not to be in the bidding. But this is 2021 and the ERA itself is a pretty awful way to judge a pitcher. In his 26 plays with the Braves, Rodriguez posted 6.17 FIP and 6.29 xFIP while hitting just 9 shots and skipping 6 home runs. Not only is the outcome bad, but the process isn’t any better either. Rodriguez has seen a significant drop in his overall spin rate after the league tackled the use of mound adhesives, giving no less confidence that much improvement is on the way. Basically, just throwing one pitch, the ball is 93 mph fast, not hitting the target, not touching the ground, dropping the host serve, all with terrible spin is how you find yourself out of a bid. with 3.94 ERA. Rodriguez posted -0.5 fWAR in those 26 innings, which is very bad.

What went right? What is up?

For Rodriguez, it’s down to his quick pitch almost 90% of the time and mostly just high (but not high) in the area. It is not a fast ball good enough for spins and misses, as it is not thrown too forcefully and relies on its horizontal, rather than vertical, movement to surprise the giants. . In the case of Rodriguez’s weak ball against Pittsburgh, the balls in the air became home passes and close-range shots against Atlanta. Competitors have knocked him down by almost 500 points after joining the Braves, and since he really has no extra field to return to, it’s hard to see how the situation will get any better. Between not having sticky material to help with his spin, not having any sort of breakout pitch to rely on, and not having the best command over his fast ball, the The needle that Rodriguez must thread to succeed is impossible to hit with any regularity.

Road to 2021 Title

Considering Rodriguez’s contributions after the season is a rather swift task. He doesn’t have any. He was dropped from the NLDS roster, NLCS roster and World Series roster, which, in retrospect, is a good sign of what his future in Atlanta looks like.

Despite a poor track record overall, Rodriguez ended up with a positive WPA and cWPA as the Brave. His highest WPA/cWPA opener in a Braves uniform was the one where he pitches perhaps the least disqualified – on August 11, in the top 10 with the magic runner ranked second, he knocked the Reds out of the table, beat Eugenio Suarez and then hit two straight landings to get out of the half and help set up Ozzie Albies’ final win.

2022 Preview

Rodriguez was officially dropped from bid on Tuesday, making him a free agent and could sign with any team. I guess it’s not out of the question that the Braves could get him back with a cheaper deal, but that would surprise me. Cutting him off after giving up Bryse Wilson to him a few months ago suggests they don’t see much hope on his current record and considering he’s omitted essentially all celebrations. of the World Series tells me he’s going to another team in 2022. Wherever he goes he needs to find an approved binder to help him get the player back and maybe he needed to find a second pitch to keep his fast ball players from getting too affected. Good luck, Rich Rod. Atlanta Braves 2021 Season Review: Richard Rodriguez

John Verrall

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