Although it has been nearly five months since the Los Angeles Dodgers were eliminated from the playoffs, reliever Paco Rodriguez still has thoughts on the team’s decision to not include him on the playoff roster.
The young left-hander was left off of the postseason roster in 2014, losing his position to youngster Carlos Frias and Scott Elbert, who pitched in only seven games during the regular season. Rodriguez pitched in 19 games last season, so not making the roster was a blow to his confidence.
Rodriguez told Kevin Baxter of the LA Times about how he felt following the release of the Dodgers postseason roster:
I took it personal,” he said. “Working so hard to get back to that point, I really wanted to make the team and just be a part of it with them. That’s something that you take into the off-season and you really try to get back to being the person that you can be.”
The 23-year-old began the 2014 season in Triple-A Albuquerque after a successful 2013 season in the MLB. He made adjustments in his time in Triple-A and was called up at the end of the 2014 season. However, these adjustments did not translate to the MLB. Rodriguez gave up six runs in just 14 innings, leaving him with a 3.86 ERA, which was not good enough for the postseason roster.
Although he was disappointed in the result of 2014, Rodriguez believes he can improve his stats in the following years:
I did some really good things when I came up my first year and I feel like I can do that again,” he said. “I think that I can get back to that person that I was. And I want to be able to help the team . . . like I did in 2013.”
Rodriguez made his MLB debut in 2012, but threw only 6.2 innings. His breakout season came in 2013 when he threw 54.1 innings and finished the year with a 2.32 ERA.
The young pitcher could become Don Mattingly’s lefty specialist out of the bullpen, as they have hit a mere .153 against him, striking out 37% of the time. His ability to hide the ball from batters could earn him a spot in the bullpen in 2015.
Dodgers 2015 Spring Training – Paco Rodriguez