According to DK Pittsburgh Sports, Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Endy Rodriguez will require elbow surgery. UPDATE: the team has confirmed that Rodriguez will miss the entire 2024 season.
As of right now, there is not much else to report on the procedure, how long he will be out for, and if this will affect his availability come Spring Training. However, it is unfortunate news to hear that a potential young and important cog to the team’s 2024 season and beyond could miss time next year.
Rodriguez’s first brief look in MLB did not go so well. He had a .220/.248/.328 triple-slash, a .271 wOBA, and 65 wRC+. Keep in mind that this was in a relatively small 204 plate appearance sample size. But there were a few positives.
The first is that he had a respectable 8.3% walk rate. Rodriguez was also above average in exit velocity at 89.1 MPH. The switch-hitter also had just a .281 batting average on balls in play. We are looking at a small sample size, but his BAbip throughout his entire minor league career is .335, which indicates he could be getting somewhat unlucky.
But he did display strong defense and leadership behind the dish. Aside from seemingly giving his pitchers a good pep talk every time he visited them on the mound, his tangible stats also paint a positive picture. Rodriguez was worth +3 defensive runs saved with +2.2 framing runs in only 410 innings. He also had the 11th best poptime in baseball last season and averaged 84.6 MPH on his throws, which was the 24th best in baseball out of 81 qualified catchers.
Signing Ali Sanchez to a Major League deal makes a lot more sense now if the Pirates are expected to be short on catching depth. The team's comments from the MLB Winter Meetings about Henry Davis moving back to catcher make more sense now as well.
Regardless, I, along with many other Pirate fans, hope that this is just a minor procedure. There are not very many details about Endy’s current condition, other than he has or will undergo elbow surgery. Obviously, it's an unfortunate blow to the Pirates, and here’s to hoping he can recover quickly, however long that may be.
The Pirates have confirmed that Rodriguez's surgery is due to an injury suffered playing winter ball in the Dominican Republic. As a result, Rodriguez has undergone Tommy John surgery and will miss all of the 2024 season.