Looking to bolster their bullpen for a stretch run in the competitive AL East, the Orioles used lefty Eduardo Rodriguez, our No. 61 prospect heading into the season and the Orioles’ No. 3 prospect in our midseason handbook, to acquire Andrew Miller.
Miller, 29 and a free agent after this year, had allowed just 25 hits in 42 1/3 innings. As would be expected, he’s tough on lefties, holding them to a .150/.203/.217 line this season with just two extra-base hits. Rodriguez has had a down year and missed time with a hip injury, but scouts, as you’ll see below, are still high on his future.
RED SOX ACQUIRE
Eduardo Rodriguez, lhp
Rodriguez’s stock has slipped a little bit this season because of injuries and down numbers, but he’s still a 21-year-old in the Eastern League. There have been times where his velocity has dipped, but at his best, he’s still showing the same plus fastball he’s throw in past years. In addition to a lively, hard fastball, he brings a slider in the low-to-mid-80s, as well as a changeup in the same velocity range. Asked about Rodriguez earlier this week, an American League scout had this to say:
“He’s throwing 96, will throw you a plus slider at times and the changeup you can see is going to be an average pitch. This guy’s got a chance to have three plus pitches. It’s about repeatability. He’s a deep-count guy, but the good news is the arm works, the delivery’s good and he throws 96. He’s got a chance to be maybe a No. 2 starter in the big leagues.”
Check out video of Rodriguez below, taken in the Arizona Fall League:
Andrew Miller, lhp
Miller, one of the key chips in the 2003 deal that sent Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis to the Tigers, is long removed from the starter’s role and has found a niche for himself as one of baseball’s best relievers. As detailed above, he’s great against same-side hitters, but he’s no slouch against righties, either. In 105 plate appearances, he’s held righties to just .180/.279/.258 over 105 plate appearances this season. He does it with upper-90s gas and a filthy mid-80s slider, for the most part.