Paco Rodriguez was a valuable part of the Los Angeles Dodgers bullpen in 2013, posting a 2.73 ERA in 76 games last season. His 54.1 innings pitched were the most in his first full major league season, leaving him vulnerable and fatigued for a postseason run.
The Dodgers postseason run extended into the NLCS while Rodriguez was left behind after a disappointing NLDS against the Atlanta Braves. He pitched in two of the four games in the series, suffering a brutal 27.00 ERA. His ability to get left handed hitters out suddenly disappeared, with Jason Heyward winning the lefty-on-lefty matchup both times for RBIs.
Los Angeles has taken a different approach with Rodriguez in 2014, having spent most of the season down in the minor leagues. He’s pitched in just 13 games and 10.1 innings for the big club, posting a 4.35 ERA.
On Aug.5th, Rodriguez was placed on the 15-day disabled list, after pitching in one game since his most recent call-up. The injury was a Teres Major strain, located on the lower part of the shoulder; the same injury that sidelined Clayton Kershaw earlier in 2014.
On Wednesday, Rodriguez will throw a bullpen session. And if all goes well, he’ll pitch in a simulated game either Friday or Saturday. The next step would be to activate him off the disabled list after that, so help could be on the way for the Dodgers bullpen. One that is 12-22 with 44 saves in 56 opportunities and a 3.63 ERA.