Relief Pitcher Richard Rodriguez
It would have sounded crazy two years ago that Richard Rodriguez might be on the chopping block. Rodriguez had an outstanding 2018 with a 2.47 ERA, 2.60 FIP and 1.06 WHIP in 69.1 innings pitched. Rodriguez was a huge strikeout pitcher, getting 31.5% of the batters he faced down in strike three, and walking them at a rate of just 6.8%. Plus, he only gave up five home runs. Rodriguez finished that year with a 1.3 fWAR, which was in the top 30 of all relievers in baseball.
However, the wheels fell off last year. Rodriguez may have had a solid-looking 3.72 ERA, but he got worse. Through 65.1 innings, his strikeout rate dipped to just 22.1% and his walk rate went up to 8.1%. Home runs became a huge problem for Rodriguez. He gave up nearly triple the amount of home runs he did in 2018, surrendering 14 long balls.
The long ball might still be an issue for the right hander in 2020. Rodriguez ha already allowed a home run. In his first outing of the season he surrendered a two-run home run to Paul DeJong during the first game of the season, which ended up being the game winning hit for the St. Louis Cardinals that night. Though he did pitch a perfect inning on Monday, the concerns about Rodriguez still remain.