Winter Leagues: Joely Rodriguez Loses Shutout Streak in Third Start

In the Dominican on Sunday afternoon, Joely Rodriguez made his third start and went five innings, allowing two runs on six hits and three walks, striking out three batters. He did a good job keeping the ball on the ground, getting nine ground outs, two of them double plays. Four of the hits he allowed were also ground balls.

Prior to Sunday, Rodriguez had thrown eight shutout innings in the Dominican and given up five hits and no walks. He is tentatively scheduled to make one more start this winter before he is shut down for the off-season. He threw 134 innings during the regular season and 22.2 during the Arizona Fall League. If you count his appearance in the AFL Fall-Stars game, he just surpassed 170 innings pitched since the beginning of April.

Mel Rojas Jr. went 1-for-3 with a single.  He has gone 11 straight games without an extra-base hit. Prior to this streak, he had doubled in five straight games.

Willy Garcia had one of his best games of the winter, going 2-for-3 with two doubles, a walk and an RBI. He had just one extra-base hit in his previous seven games.

Pedro Florimon went 3-for-4 with three singles and a stolen base. He is 10-for-30(.333) in his last nine games.

Gustavo Nunez went 1-for-3 with a sacrifice bunt. He has nine doubles and two homers in 31 games this year, though he hasn’t picked up an extra-base hit in his last ten games.

Carlos Paulino pinch-hit in the tenth inning and dropped down a sacrifice bunt. He remained in the game behind the plate and did not get another chance to bat.

In Venezuela, Elias Diaz had a tough game at the plate as his team put 11 runs on the board. Diaz did score a run, but he finished the game 0-for-5 with three strikeouts. He is hitting .143 in his first six games. The starting pitchers were Cesar Valdez and Daniel McCutchen, both of whom spent time in the Pirates system. Diaz caught Valdez, who threw five shutout innings.

Junior Sosa went 1-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored. He is 2-for-15 since returning two weeks ago from a 19-day unspecified absence.

Gorkys Hernandez hasn’t played in Venezuela since signing with the Pirates last week. He has an injured middle finger on his right hand and will get the hand checked out today to see if he can return to winter action. In a recent interview(link is in Spanish), Hernandez says that he is happy to have another chance with the Pirates and a chance to prove he is a new player. He also said he expects more from himself and will work hard to get back to the Majors.

In Mexico, Sebastian Valle went 1-for-4 with a double and run scored. He has a ten game hit streak in which he has reached base 23 times.

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.

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Ben Swogger

Based off his body of work thus far, it seems that Rodriguez has a good chance of being at least a competent major league bullpen arm

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