Aneury Rodriguez Makes Houston’s Opening Day Roster | The Process Report

Aneury Rodriguez Makes Houston’s Opening Day Roster

Aneury Rodriguez survived the spring and will be a member of the Astros’ Opening Day roster, thus delaying (and possibly shelving) a return to the Rays. The Rays left the 23-year-old right-hander (who pitched for Durham in 2010) unprotected for the second consecutive year, gambling that he would not survive a full season on a major league roster. Unfortunately for Tampa Bay, Rodriguez happened to land with the beleaguered Astros. Houston has low expectations and lacks talent at the top of its farm system, so Rodriguez’s chances of making the squad increased exponentially by luck.

The Astros’ exhibition game against the Red Sox Wednesday night was shown on NESN and featured on the MLB Network. Rodriguez entered for an inning’s worth of work and worked primarily off a low-90s cut-fastball, but mixed in four-seamers, curves, and sliders while effectively pitching against the top of the Boston order as he showed decent command of his pitches.

The Rays acquired Rodriguez from the Rockies prior to the start of the 2009 season in exchange for Jason Hammel. At the time, the Rays had to make a decision between keeping Hammel or Jeff Niemann –both out of options—and chose the latter. Hammel has since went on to a successful career with Colorado, while Rodriguez’s career had stalled with the Rays. As a result of his Rule 5 status, Rodriguez cannot be sent to the minors by the Astros. Houston can only option Rodriguez should they acquire his rights from the Rays, otherwise he must remain on the active roster or be exposed to the waiver wire (he would then be offered back to the Rays at half the cost of the selection fee if he cleared).

There is a loophole with regards to the disabled list, as after 90 days on the active roster, Rodriguez could be placed on the DL for the remainder of the season and the Astros would then gain his rights, but given their condition, there’s probably nothing lost by keeping him around as the mop-up reliever.

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