The Indianapolis Indians got a boost on Tuesday as the Pirates called up six players from the Altoona roster to finish up the season in Triple-A. One such player was Endy Rodriguez, the breakout player in the system this year.
Rodriguez didn’t waste any time getting acclimated to Triple-A, picking up a pair of hits along with an RBI on Tuesday. He’s certainly going to bring an offensive boost to the team in the last week of the minor league season.
That’s not to say the Indians haven’t been getting contributions from the catcher position as of late.
Indianapolis has as many as four or five catchers on the roster at any given moment, but the primary catchers over the past month have been Carter Bins and Jose Godoy. Blake Sabol has played five games behind the plate in September, but has seen the majority of his time in the outfield.
While neither have been known for their offense throughout their career, both Bins and Godoy are flexing some of the pop they do have in their bats in September.
TIE IT UP. pic.twitter.com/9kz0f03WC1
— Indianapolis Indians (@indyindians) September 21, 2022
The pair combined to hit .375 (18-for-48) with seven extra-base hits, and 12 RBI in September. Godoy has half of his minor league home run total this month alone — all in five games played. It’s been a struggle for Bins to keep afloat above the Mendoza line, but is batting .345 this month and has reached double digits in home runs during his time in Triple-A.
While it wouldn’t be surprising to see Rodriguez start the majority of the games behind the plate to close out the season, Indianapolis has plenty of options to catch.
When Ben Cherington took over as GM there was a glaring hole at the catcher position, something he’s done a great job addressing, and that’s starting to show even with the depth players.
Putting Players In The Best Position To Win
That Tuesday night Pirates game was particularly frustrating, obviously, with the Yankees winning by way of a walk-off Grand Slam by Giancarlo Stanton. The Pirates blew a lead in the ninth inning, and this game had a couple of examples of not putting people in the best position to win.
The most obvious one was Wil Crowe pitching in the ninth inning. Crowe made the switch to the bullpen this year and was fantastic to start the season. When David Bednar went on the injured list, the Pirates decided to give Crowe some added appearances in high leverage situations, something he has struggled with — as we saw on Tuesday.
There are times that the Pirates seem to be heavily involved in analytics. Crowe’s struggles doesn’t even seem to fall into analytics, as it’s very obvious of his inability to get hitters out in the later innings. In fact, 27 of the 32 earned runs he’s allowed this season has come in either the eighth or ninth inning.
Yet they continue to use him in those situations.
The other happened in the outfield, as the Pirates continued the Diego Castillo outfield experiment, which cost them two runs on the night. Castillo is an interesting player because he’s had some success at the majors, but falls into that crowded middle infield picture. Him playing the outfield may actually be his last opportunity to stick with the team, but if that’s the case, why wasn’t that a priority when he was sent to Indianapolis?
Obviously this team wasn’t built to win this year, but that doesn’t mean the entire year should be spent moving puzzle pieces all over the place. At some point you have to put them in the best position to succeed. They didn’t, and it cost them a win on Tuesday, as well as a much needed morale boost.
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