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Pirates Prospects Daily: Endy Rodriguez And Mike Burrows Impress In Major League Camp

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Back in 2021, before I came to Pirates Prospects, I spent a lot of time watching the Bradenton Marauders baseball team.

There were plenty of noteworthy players on that roster, one of which is pitching for the Dominican Republic in the WBC right now, but another one stood above the rest.

He was new to the system, but there was plenty of intrigue surrounding him. Sometimes you look at someone while they are playing baseball, and just know he’s going to be something special.

That was Endy Rodriguez. I won’t say I saw the kind of rise that Rodriguez has had over the past year, but there was little doubt watching him play in Bradenton back then that he would be an impact player of some sort.

Despite perhaps being the team’s best hitter during spring, Rodriguez was optioned to Triple-A after Tuesday’s game in which he picked up two hits. 

It opened up the very predictable debate about why he was sent down despite being one of the team’s best players. There is a small note in the move that adds some context as to why it was made.

Of course, service time being involved, as After Wednesday, if a player is injured and can’t be assigned to the minors, he’s going to accrue major league time – something Pirates fans are all too familiar with.

On the other hand, Rodriguez does have just 37 games above A-Ball in his career. There is a legitimate argument sending him back is the right call to get more experience in a less pressing situation.

After the spring he had, that’s a tough sell, but it’s one that isn’t uncommon – especially for a catcher. There will be a lot of the team’s top pitching prospects in Triple-A to start the year, and the added time to work together could be invaluable in the future.

That’s where things get all twisted. At some point you would like to see the team reward a player with a spot on the major league roster from the get-go, especially if they’ve earned it.

The league has shifted things to actually reward teams for doing this.

Maybe the Pirates will get there some day, with another player lower in the system. Or maybe they don’t want to take the risk and play the conservative small market game.

In the end, winning cures all, and if the Pirates come out to start the season and puts some wins on the board, it could soften the blow of having Rodriguez start in the minors.

Mike Burrows

Another one of the players optioned to Triple-A, Burrows pitched a couple of innings on Tuesday against the Orioles. Across two innings, the righty walked one and struck out three, without allowing a hit.

The most notable thing for him was the continued usage of the slider, and the progress he’s made from the first time we saw it to now has been impressive. Burrows threw the slider seven times, getting three whiffs and two called strikes (71% called strike-whiff rate). 

It’s improving, quickly, and heading from a ‘show me’ pitch all the way to an actual weapon.

Pirates Prospects Daily

By John Dreker

**Spring Training Recaps: Orioles 7, Pirates 6; Pirates 2, Twins 2 Two games to recap from yesterday

**Pirates DVR: Chavez Young Shines For Great Britain In WBC

**Pirates Prospects Daily: What to Watch for With Two Weeks Until the Season

**World Baseball Classic Recap: Duane Underwood Jr. Contributes to Puerto Rico’s Perfect Game

**Pirates Trim Eight Players from Spring Training Roster, Including Endy Rodriguez and Mike Burrows The aforementioned roster cuts, plus six more.

Song of the Day

Today’s Lineup

Today’s road lineup against the Toronto Blue Jays

Anthony Murphy
Anthony Murphy
Anthony began writing over 10 years ago, starting a personal blog to cover the 2011 MLB draft, where the Pirates selected first overall. After bouncing around many websites covering hockey, he refocused his attention to baseball, his first love when it comes to sports. He eventually found himself here at Pirates Prospects in late 2021, where he covers the team’s four full season minor league affiliates.

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