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Thursday, February 24, 2005

Good RicRod news 

Both the S-T and the DMN had pieces today on the excitement in camp over the performance of Ricardo Rodriguez.

Rodriguez, of course, was picked up from the Cleveland Indians in 2003 in exchange for Ryan Ludwick. He didn't pitch in 2003 after the Rangers got him, as he was recovering from a hip injury, and then lost much of 2004 to an emergency appendectomy and a broken elbow suffered on a ball hit back up the middle.

When healthy last year, though, he showed some tantalizing glimpses of why he was the Los Angeles Dodgers' #2 prospect just a couple of years ago, and why he has excited scouts, even though his minor league numbers were never overwhelming. For a couple of weeks, it looked like he was going to be that elusive #3 starter behind Ryan Drese and Kenny Rogers last year, as he posted a 2.03 ERA in the majors before his injury.

The fracture was a clean break, and RicRod was supposed to be ready to go when spring training started, but the team was clearly uncertain, with Pedro Astacio being the most obvious hedge against RicRod's future. It was generally assumed that he was going to start the season in AAA, but he's clearly impressed in his early workouts, with Showalter and Hershiser both commenting on the work he's done over the winter to be ready.

RicRod is 26, and he's approaching the make or break point as a major league starter. Personally, I'm not convinced that he's going to make it, but I'd love to have him pitch well enough in spring training to force his way into the rotation, along with either Chris Young or Juan Dominguez (whom the organization seems to have soured on because of maturity and attitude problems, including showing up late for a couple of workouts this spring), with either Astacio or the Ho cut loose. With guys like John Hudgins, Thomas Diamond, John Danks, and Kam Loe coming pretty quickly from the minors, the Rangers need to see what they have with RicRod, and give him the opportunity to succeed or fail. The initial reports from this spring on him are certainly encouraging.


3 comments
Comments:
He didn't break his elbow. That was a vicious rumor started by irresponsible bloggers.
 
I saw that game...if his elbow didn't break, then it was a miracle. He was pretty impressive up to that point; if he comes back the same, then he should be #3.
 
im happy for ric, he has battles some painful injuries throughout his career. he is a real trooper and i wish him the best, hes a real battler and i hope to see him a ranger for the 2005 season, the rangers will definitly need the help

*laugh*
 
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