- Full name Eddy Rodriguez
- Born 08/08/1981 in San Pedro De Macoris, Dominican Republic
- Profile Ht.: 6'1" / Wt.: 215 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School Liceo Gaston Frenando (DR) HS
- Debut 05/31/2004
Organization Prospect Rankings
After Rodriguez had a breakout season in 2003, he made his major league debut in 2004 and spent a good part of the year in Baltimore, making his first appearance against the Red Sox at the end of May. He remained in the Orioles' bullpen until the end of August, when he was sent back down while the Orioles gave Bruce Chen an audition. Rodriguez has a 91-93 mph fastball that's made more effective because of its movement and his deceptive delivery, and solid-average slider. He doesn't have the stuff to close but has both the pitches and the mentality for big league middle relief. He still needs to improve his command to stick in the big leagues for good because big league hitters tended to wait him out. He had one five-walk, four-strikeout performance against the Phillies, throwing 63 pitches in three innings, though he gave up just one hit and no runs and picked up his first big league win. He'll have to be sharper than that to succeed long term, and will compete for a big league job this spring.
Rodriguez steadily has pitched his way into the Orioles' plans, emerging as a legitimate prospect last season in Double-A. When Melvin Mora had a rehabilitation stint with the Baysox, he tabbed Rodriguez as the Bowie player who could contribute in the major leagues. Manager Dave Trembley called him the team's MVP, and he was promoted to Triple-A for the International League playoffs. Rodriguez throws 91-93 mph, but his fastball seems harder because of the funkiness in his delivery. He has a sharp slider, but not much of a changeup because he has been a reliever throughout his career. More important, he has ice water in his veins, shows poise on the mound and wants the ball every night. He still needs to improve his command and is learning to pitch. At his size, Rodriguez profiles more as setup guy than a closer, but his future is definitely in the bullpen. He's slated for Triple-A to open 2004 and could reach Baltimore later in the year.