When we said yesterday that Paul Maholm didn’t add up, we should have taken that extra step and looked at who did. So, a day late, and quite a few million dollars more than Maholm, we look at newly acquired Wandy Rodriguez matchups versus the NL Central.
Wandy owns the Cubs. Maholm got crushed by the Cubs to the tune of a .927OPS. What a huge difference. Wandy puts the ball gag in poor Alfonso Soriano’s mouth. In smaller samples, he has shut down Castro as well. Can Wandy pitch every game against the Cubs the rest of the way??
Wandy has done well against the Reds – especially Brandon Phillips, who absolutely owns Maholm. But Joey Votto isn’t listed on the Baseball Reference chart, so we put the ESPN version below–Votto has an OPS of 1.017 with 17 hits in 45 at-bats against Wandy. So it’s significantly different.
Wandy against the Brewers–Gulp!
Wandy against the Cards is an interesting mix; again, Rodriguez has better career numbers than Maholm.
Wandy held Andrew McCutchen to four hits in 25 plate appearances. Another interesting note: Kevin Correia is 2-for-3 off Rodriguez in his career. Here is the link to all of Wandy’s career numbers against his new team, with Neil Walker leading the way.
So here’s the topic for debate: Can Rodriguez continue to pitch as well as he has in the past? We don’t think he will. The Pirates obviously do.
Remember - as we pointed out last night, the strikeouts have been in a downward spiral. The strikeout rate hasn’t been this low since Wandy was a rookie. Huntington said the scouts have seen more of a ground ball pitcher. McEffect effectively demonstrated that leaving Minute Maid for PNC Park will improve his numbers. Ten of the eleven bombs Wandy has given up are off his fastball, which averages around 89MPH.
The defense behind Rodriguez should also help his numbers the rest of the season. The Pirates have excelled with their strong defense this year.
It’s a lot to add up. But free agent left-handers are overvalued even more today with the Cole Hamels signing, and that is where the Pirates would have been looking next season. From that standpoint, the deal makes good sense.
It’s just a question of how much Wandy has left in his tank, based on the troubling strikeout numbers. He is an upgrade. How much isn’t known yet.
But heh – this we do know, Wandy owns the Cubs!