Los Angeles Angels Cut Ties with Chris Rodriguez, Diamondbacks Take a Chance
Trouble Developing Arms Plagues the Angels
The Los Angeles Angels have been facing significant challenges in developing talented pitchers in recent years, contributing to their inability to achieve a winning season since 2015. However, amidst this struggle, one promising arm emerged – Chris Rodriguez.
A Glimpse of Potential
Despite battling injuries, Rodriguez made his MLB debut in 2021 for the Angels. Primarily used as a reliever, he showcased his skills with a 3.64 ERA in 15 appearances, including two starts, and 29.2 innings pitched. Rodriguez displayed flashes of brilliance, leaving the Angels hopeful that he could become a reliable starter or reliever. Unfortunately, his persistent health issues prevented him from reaching his full potential.
A Series of Setbacks
Following a missed entire season in 2022 and a significant portion of the current season, Rodriguez made a brief comeback with three rehab appearances. However, his performance was lackluster, and he suffered a setback due to a back injury. Notably, his velocity decreased, and his pitches lacked the same quality he had demonstrated in the majors.
Angels Place Rodriguez on Waivers
Recognizing Rodriguez’s ongoing health struggles and lack of significant progress since 2021, the Angels made the difficult decision to place him on waivers. The Arizona Diamondbacks seized the opportunity and claimed him, making a low-risk, high-reward move for their organization.
A Waiting Game
Since his last major league appearance two years ago, Rodriguez has made three minor league appearances. However, his season ended with an injury, and there is a possibility that he may start the next season on the injured list as well. There comes a point where patience wears thin.
When healthy, Rodriguez possesses immense promise. His electric strikeout abilities make him a potential dominant late-game reliever or a reliable rotation option. Unfortunately, circumstances have prevented him from fully showcasing his talents in either role.
A Bittersweet Departure
Parting ways with the 25-year-old right-hander was undoubtedly a difficult decision for the Angels. However, they have valid reasons to believe that his future success may not lie within their organization. If Rodriguez manages to overcome his health issues with the Diamondbacks, it would be a remarkable turn of events, and I am eager to witness his development. Conversely, if he fails to overcome these obstacles, the Angels’ decision to let him go may not appear as regrettable.
Strategic Roster Management
The Angels face the need to free up spots on their 40-man roster during the upcoming offseason. Placing hope in Rodriguez’s uncertain pitching prospects is not a wise gamble. It is likely that he would have been designated for assignment at some point anyway. Therefore, the Angels’ choice to cut ties with him at this juncture is a sensible decision. Simultaneously, the Diamondbacks’ willingness to take a chance on him is a commendable move. Both teams stand to benefit from this transaction.