In our daily Wake-Up Call, we get you ready for the day with a complete look at all things Pittsburgh Pirates.
Yesterday, the Pittsburgh Pirates beat the St. Louis Cardinals by a score of 2-0. Any win over the Cardinals is a good one. The Pirates may not be playing for a playoff spot, but they can still play the role of spoiler. However, that wasn’t the biggest news of the day for the Pirates. The Pirates activated Jordy Mercer from the Disabled List and to make room on the roster, they Designated Sean Rodriguez for Assignment.
This brings an end to the Pirates career of the Super Utility Man. Rodriguez played 384 games with the Pirates and slashed .230/.304/.399/.703 with 30 home runs and 97 RBIs. None of those numbers are Hall of Fame worthy, but S-Rod has never been a major offensive threat. He was a man the team brought in to improve their bench and defensive depth prior to the 2015 season.
Rodriguez hasn’t been the same since his car accident prior to the 2017 season, but no one can deny that he gave everything he had. Not every player is a superstar, but Rodriguez managed to squeeze everything out of his talent and played 11 Big League seasons. At times this year, fans booed him and chanted “DFA” at him, and that was wrong.
I was critical of Clint Hurdle consistently playing S-Rod when it was clear he didn’t have it anymore, but I never blamed Rodriguez for simply doing his job. No athlete is going to tell his coach/manager that he can’t play. It’s up to management to do what’s best for the team and the player sometimes. Fans have every right to boo whomever they want, but when a player comes back from such a traumatic injury and manages to play parts of two more Major League seasons, he deserves respect, not disdain from the fans. However, I tend to think the booing was less about Rodriguez and more about the decision to keep trotting him and his .167 average out there every night.
I don’t expect you will see Sean Rodriguez on another Major League roster this season, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets a Minor League deal with a Spring Training invite next season. The guy did show some flashes of his previous ability and far worse players get Minor League deals. His time with the Pirates is undoubtedly over and it’s sad that he is going out like many veteran players, by way of DFA. Years from now, Rodriguez will likely be a memory and a fairly random Bobblehead giveaway, but to me, he will always be the passionate player that gave everything he had every time he stepped onto the field.
Thank you, Sean Rodriguez, I wish you nothing but the very best as you (hopefully) continue your Major League career.