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Giants’ Randy Rodriguez Shows Flashes After Move Back To Pen

Giants Acquire Ford Proctor From Rays For Jeremy Walker

Righthander Randy Rodriguez has racked up 198 strikeouts over 128.2 innings in the past two seasons, from Low-A to Triple-A.

Rodriguez’s fastball sits in the mid 90s and can reach a few ticks higher. He pairs the pitch with a devastating slider.

“The slider keeps people honest off the fastball,” Giants farm director Kyle Haines said, “because if you’re cheating on the fastball, he has a legitimate swing-and-miss breaking pitch there to wipe ’em out as well.”

Rodriguez also employs a changeup, “but definitely the other two (pitches) are elite,” Haines said. “The changeup’s just OK.”

After a 2021 season with Low-A San Jose that was much more than OK—101 strikeouts and a 1.74 ERA in 62 innings of relief—Rodriguez was placed on the 40-man roster.

In order to see how he’d handle starting and to keep him on a set schedule for side sessions, weightlifting and the like, the Giants made Rodriguez a starter for his first 13 appearances last season with High-A Eugene.

In July, Rodriguez moved back to the bullpen. He stayed there through promotions to Double-A Richmond and Triple-A Sacramento.

A shoulder issue kept Rodriguez from pitching after Aug. 25, but Haines said Rodriguez “will be 100% by spring training.”

Rodriguez averaged 5.8 walks per nine innings in 2023. The Giants believe that is due to approach rather than truly poor control.

“He sometimes just overthrows,” Haines said. “He’s just learning how to control his effort level to consistently command the zone. He’s not wild. He’s not Rick ‘Wild Thing’ Vaughn by any means.”

The Giants signed Rodriguez out of the Dominican Republic in 2017. Now 23, his approach has impressed Haines.

Rodriguez is “a kid who just shows up with a good work ethic, ready to go each day,” Haines said. “Never gets too high or too low, and I think that’s the demeanor of the really good pitchers, especially those guys who come in in big spots out of the bullpen—the moment never gets too big or too small for them.”

Jake Eder (Photo By Dustin Bradford Getty Images)

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