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Saturday, December 3, 2022

AFL: Another Solid Performance From Joely Rodriguez

On Saturday afternoon in the Arizona Fall League, Joely Rodriguez took the hill for his fourth start of the season. He allowed one run over 2.1 innings in his first start and since then, Rodriguez had thrown seven shutout innings coming into Saturday. He didn’t throw shutout ball this time out, but he still had a strong outing. Dan Gamache was the only Pittsburgh Pirates player in the lineup. Elias Diaz was in the original lineup, but did not start. Scottsdale won big over Glendale, moving to 8-9 on the season. The Scorpions have off tomorrow.

Rodriguez gave up a lead-off single to center field. The next batter reached on an infield single, putting two runners on with no outs. Rodriguez got the first out of the game at second base on a ground ball to shortstop, putting runners on the corners. The cleanup hitter brought home the first run on a sacrifice fly. Rodriguez gave up another single, putting runners on the corners again. He got the final out on a grounder to second base. He threw 19 pitches in the inning and allowed one run.

In the second inning, Rodriguez started off with a seven pitch at-bat that ended with a strikeout. He got a quick out from the next batter, who grounded out to shortstop on the first pitch. The ninth place hitter in the lineup grounded to third base to end the inning.  Rodriguez threw 13 pitches in the second.

Rodriguez struck out the first batter of the third inning on three pitches. The next batter grounded out to second base for the second out. The side was retired in order with a fly ball to center field. He needed just nine pitches in the inning. In the fourth, he retired the side in order again, getting the last batter on a strikeout. Rodriguez threw a total of 54 pitches in the game, 34 going for strikes. He allowed three hits and retired the last ten batters he faced.

Angel Sanchez came in during the bottom of the eighth and retired the side in order,  impressing with two strikeouts and great control. He threw 13 of his 15 pitches for strikes. In four appearances, he has given up three hits and no earned runs in six innings.

Dan Gamache was at second base and batting sixth. He walked in the second inning, then walked again in the third. In the fifth inning, with the bases loaded, Gamache hit a soft single to right field that was booted. Two runs scored, though he only got credit for one RBI. In the seventh inning, he lined a double into left field. In the ninth inning, he struck out, leaving him 2-for-3 with two walks.

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John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.


Pirates Prospects has been independently owned and operated since 2009, entirely due to the support of our readers. The site is now completely free, funded entirely by user support. By supporting the site, you are supporting independent writers, one of the best Pittsburgh Pirates communities online, and our mission for the most complete Pirates coverage available.

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John: BTW, what is his velocity? He had been high 80’s in the lower levels because he could not control a 90+ fastball. Then he progressed to early to mid-90’s while still maintaining command – is he still maintaining those numbers/command? He cuts everything and is a groundball machine. Still only 22.


All I can tell you is this, and this is in all honesty : in Altoona he was simply awful no matter in what capacity he was used. usually in the high 80’s to low 90’s, straight as an arrow fastball with shaky control and little command, always up in the zone.



Thanks for this response. I love this kind of deep intel. Goes way beyond what’s in the article above and really brings detailed info to the readership.

I’ve wondered about Rodriquez for a couple seasons now and this reply answers some of my questions. It’s the kind of thing that makes P2 THE destination site for die-hard Pirate fans.

Now. Can you answer one more question about this prospect? How do you pronounce “Joely?” Is it JOE-LEE or is it Joe-ELY? Jolly? Is the J silent, i.e: OH-lee?” Or is it like a latin “H” sound, thus, HO-LEE?

I kind of like the sound of the name HOLY Rodriquez.
“Wouldst thou, oh Hassan, like all this treasure for thy very own?”


Right or wrong,the ballpark announcer in Altoona pronounced it like ” Joe el e “.


John: Thank you for the answer.


maybe joely got all his pitches back in the AFL. Maybe in Altoona it was fastball academy?


I was told a couple of years ago by someone much smarter than me [a site poster whose id I can’t recall] to take minor league pitching stats for the Pirates in particular with a grain of salt – “they are always working on something” – trying for focus on pitching inside or down in the zone will affect ball/strike rate and wins and losses. I get the impression Joely has been told to use all his tools and try and win. Lessons will resume next year.

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