Endy Rodriguez has impressed since joining the Pittsburgh Pirates in July. Now, the team needs to give him more opportunities against left-handed pitching.
There are few players in the entire Pittsburgh Pirates organization with a brighter future and a higher ceiling than Endy Rodriguez. The young catcher has done many good things since making his MLB debut in July, However, there is something the team needs to now do for Rodriguez.
What is that? Rodriguez needs to be given more opportunities against left-handed pitching. Whatever the reason, the Pirates have seemingly shied away from Rodriguez starting against left-handed pitchers and that needs to change.
Through his first 83 MLB plate appearances Rodriguez is hitting for a .227/.301/.400 slash line with an 89 wRC+. Not great numbers, but not terrible either for a 23-year-old catcher getting their first taste of MLB pitching. Rodriguez has also impressed with his pitching framing and ability to help his pitchers work through jams.
Rodriguez is a switch-hitter. For young switch-hitters, it can be difficult to find consistent success against left-handed pitching. This is due to them having many more at-bats against right-handed pitching in the minors. However, the only way to develop and improve against left-handed pitching is to face lefties.
Of Rodriguez's 83 PAs, only 17 have come against left-handed pitchers. He is hitting just .200/.294/.200 with a wRC+ of 44 against lefties. But, again, the only way that Rodriguez can improve and develop against lefties is get more opportunities against them.
While minor league numbers can not and should not be viewed as a way to judge the ability of players in the majors, Rodriguez always hit lefties well in the minors. So, it's not like the Pirates seemingly hiding him against lefties is due to struggles in the minors.
The rest of the 2023 season needs to be all about development for the Pirates. Part of this is getting Rodriguez more opportunities agaisnt LHP. That needs to start in their upcoming series against the Minnesota Twins, who are scheduled to start veteran lefty Dallas Keuchel on Sunday.