After outperforming many of its underlying stats in 2018, D-Rod’s changeup came crashing back to earth last season. It earned a 5.87 FIP and -1.1 pVAL, more in line with what was expected from Rodriguez
For all his warts, Rodriguez’s curveball was very effective in 2019. Its 30.8% K rate was by far the highest of all his pitches, and should become a larger part of his repertoire if D-Rod wants to retain his place in the Giants rotation moving forward.
Rodriguez’s fastball lost any and all semblence of effectiveness in 2019. Its pVAL dropped from 3.0 to -17.3, one of the 10 worst values in all of baseball. Expectedly, this pitch was smacked around to the tune of a .427 wOBA and 91.6 mph average exit velocity.
Miles better than his four-seamer, Rodriguez’s cutter has flashed plus potential as he becomes more comfortable using it. Inching its usage up from 11.8% to 13.9% last season, its BB% dropped (10.2% to 5.3%) while its K% rose (12.2% to 19.3%). Something to keep an eye on.
Rodriguez’s fastball is straight and not too fast, a terrible combination for a fastball. The results are a 90 mph average exit velocity and 19 degrees of a launch angle, which is too close to an ideal batted ball to be comfortable, despite only allowing a fairly standard .236 batting average on the pitch.
Rodriguez has a slow, looping curve that was one of his stronger offerings coming up through the minors. His confidence with the pitch allows him to throw it in most counts and with positive results. He held batters to a .145 batting average against despite it not getting a ton of strikeouts. It’s likely to regress some, but it’s still a solid offering.
Rodriguez has great control on his changeup, able to command it in the zone and still draw some chases outside of the zone. He doesn’t get a ton of swinging strikes on the pitch, and it’s not a strikeout pitch. But he has held batters to a .163 batting average against and kept the ball in the park.
Rodriguez’s sinker is his second-most used fastball of the three, but it’s been hit around the most. He throws it to get strikes, especially when he’s behind in the count. Like most sinkers, it doesn’t get many swinging strikes, and it got knocked around for a .300 batting average against.
Rodriguez’s cutter was his least-used fastball variation, coming in slower than his sinker and four-seam but with more drop and less arm-side run. Batters have managed to barrel up on Rodriguez quite a bit, and they managed to hit .262 on his cutter.