For those who do not know, Aneury Rodriguez was the player acquired via trade at the end of Spring Training when the Rays were forced to choose between Lance Cormier, Jason Hammel, and Jeff Niemann due to a lack of options. Cormier has been a bullpen success with a FIP of 3.26 for the Rays, especially early in the year. Hammel has proceeded to have a very strong year as a starter with the Rockies posting a FIP of 3.73. Niemann has pitched very well as the season has progressed with a FIP of 4.23 that has continued to improve with each passing month. The only player involved who has been slow to experience success is Aneury Rodriguez, who came over from Colorado in exchange for Hammel.
RJ profiled Rodriguez here: Aneury Rodriguez
A traditional game recap can be found on RaysProspects here: Aneury's 1 hitter
For a 2009 review to date follow the jump:
The outing in itself, was a bit of an anomaly as far as 7 innings of 1 hit ball with a 6:1 K/BB ratio go. By this I mean, Rodriguez did not have great control. He threw 48 strikes in 82 pitches or 58.5%. More surprisingly of the 23 batter faced, he only threw 6 first pitch strikes or 26.1%. He did manage to induce 8 swinging strikes or 9.8%. Still, you would typically expect more walks and fewer strikeouts with those numbers. On the other hand, Rodriguez was dominant against the Birmingham Barons, the team which leads the Southern league in OPS at .772. For reference the Biscuits have just two players in their lineup (Desmond Jennings and Chris Nowak) who have OPSs above .772.
It is important to remember Rodriguez is young for AA at 21 years old. The adjustment to AA has seemed to be a difficult one, but he has shown signs of improvement as the season has progressed. Below is a month by month progression of FIP, K/9, and BB/9. The results are extremely encouraging.
Its also worth noting that over the past 3 games he has posted FIPs of: 1.87, 2.62, and 1.91. Young Aneury has taken a beating in comments across DRB the past few months largely due to his rough start, and the surprise of Hammel's breakout season. Hopefully, this can turn some of that focus into what may end up being a promising prospect.