Paco Rodriguez debuted in the Majors during the 2012 season as a September callup with the Los Angeles Dodgers, making 11 appearances for a total of 6.2 innings.
Rodriguez made more of an impact the following season, appearing in 76 games as he emerged as a trustworthy left-handed reliever. However, his first extended experience in the Majors resulted in fatigue and his effectiveness was all but washed away in the latter stages of the season.
Coming off a season in which he appeared in just 19 games due to a crowded bullpen and injury issues, Rodriguez has altered his mechanics with an eye on bouncing back in 2015, via Ron Cervenka of Think Blue LA:
I worked on my delivery,” Rodriguez said. “Last year my arm was a little too high up. I think that was my biggest concern with my mechanics and just the rhythm of being comfortable to make a solid throw. That’s what I worked on the most.”
This now marks the second time in as many years that Rodriguez has tinkered with his mechanics with the hope of improving on previous shortcomings.
As for the bullpen Rodriguez hopes he’ll join out of Spring Training, it’s one he believes has improved following the offseason overhaul done by president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and general manager Farhan Zaidi:
It’s a bunch of new faces and new guys to get to know, it’s a good change,” Rodriguez said. “These guys (Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi), they know what their doing, so I’m all for it. It’s something that’s going to help, I think it’s going to help us out.
Rodriguez spent much of last season bouncing between Triple-A Albuquerque and the Majors, seemingly getting sent back and forth once every couple of weeks. He was placed on the disabled list Aug. 5 with a shoulder strain, suffered a setback during his recovery and wasn’t reinstated until Sept. 13, which left him with 15 potential games to prepare for the postseason.
The 23 year old made just five appearances after returning, throwing 3.2 innings with a 2.45 ERA and opponents batting .167/.231/.417; he was then left off the Dodgers’ 25-man roster for the NLDS.
J.P. Howell was one of two primary lefties out of the bullpen for the Dodgers last season with the other being Paul Maholm prior to his ACL injury. Maholm is no longer who no longer is with the club, which conceivably opens up a spot in the bullpen.
Assuming the Dodgers will fill it with a left-hander, Rodriguez is competing against the likes of Daniel Coulombe, Adam Liberatore, and non-roster invites, Erik Bedard and David Huff, among others.
Dodgers 2015 FanFest