Brewers’ Carlos Rodriguez Brings Mature Approach To Mound

Carlos Rodriguez was the Brewers’ minor league pitcher of the year in 2022.

Still, one could accurately say the 21-year-old righthander flew under the radar despite posting a 3.01 ERA with 129 strikeouts in 107.2 innings split between Low-A Carolina and High-A Wisconsin.

“Rodriguez has kind of rocketed up,” said Tom Flanagan, the Brewers’ vice president of player operations and baseball administration. “Last year he was unknown in the spring, and now he’s probably knocking on the Triple-A door.”

The Brewers drafted Rodriguez out of Florida Southwestern State JC in the fourth round in 2021.

“Last year it was, ‘He has four pitches and he really knows how to pitch.’ Now, his stuff is ticking up a little bit more,” Flanagan said. “Another year under his belt and he’s learning to harness what he has. I just think it’s the overall package. I think that’s what’s jumped out to our scouts.

“He doesn’t have that one dominant pitch, that dominant fastball, but he does everything pretty well.”

Rodriguez started his 2023 in impressive fashion, taking the ball for Nicaragua in its World Baseball Classic pool play opener against Puerto Rico in Miami—roughly 10 miles from where he played in high school—and allowing two hits, a run and a walk with three strikeouts in a four-inning start.

“He’s very mature, which I think was tested in the WBC,” Flanagan said. “I think it was one of those things where we were confident he would perform well, but not to that extent.”

Rodriguez opened the season as a part of a strong rotation at Double-A Biloxi. Through eight starts he had a 2.87 ERA to go with 51 strikeouts and 20 walks in 37.2 innings.

He limited opponents to a .169 average.

With the Brewers low on starting pitcher prospects in the upper levels, Rodriguez is one to watch with a potential promotion to Triple-A Nashville on the horizon.

“He’s knocking on the door,” Flanagan said.



— Following a frustrating and injury-plagued 2022 that saw him pitch just 13.2 innings before having right elbow surgery, righthander Logan Henderson is back in action at Low-A Carolina.

The Brewers have high hopes for their 2021 fourth-round pick out of McLennan (Texas) JC after he led the junior college ranks with 169 strikeouts in 97.2 innings but are going to take their time in ramping him up.

“He’s going to be limited in workload this year, so we’re going to take it real slow,” Flanagan said. “We left him in extended, built him up. He’ll slowly tick up. He’s a guy who we’re bullish on his future, but for this year it’s getting a certain number of innings under his belt and then hopefully he comes into next season with the handcuffs off.”

— Outfielder Hedbert Perez, who impressed in small stints with the major league team in Cactus League play this spring, got off to a miserable start in repeating at Low-A Carolina.

Through 25 games, Perez was hitting .154 with no home runs, four RBIs and an OPS of .502. He had also struck out 33 times in 91 at-bats.

“Can’t put our finger on it. He’s scuffled,” Flanagan said. “He had a good start in the spring. We thought repeating there might be good for him in that he’s familiar with it. He’s still an extremely young guy and he just hasn’t gotten on track.”

Comments are closed.

Download our app

Read the newest magazine issue right on your phone