Better in Relief: Rodriguez to AAA and Arano to AA

I feel like I haven’t just written in a while so pardon me while I talk about the potentially inane, reliever promotions.

We can start with the non pitcher move as Carlos Alonso adds another trip in his back and forth between Reading and Lehigh Valley. The infielder is a good org player who has been going where he is needed in the org, and right now it looks like Darnell Sweeney might be heading to the DL.

As for the pitchers, we have a pair of former starting pitchers acquired in trades. LHP Joely Rodriguez (who was acquired for Antonio Bastardo) is in his first year as a full time reliever and after making a trip down to Clearwater he has been very good with Reading. He has had a few bumps of late but since May 17 he has pitched 38.1 innings, allowing 36 hits, 9 earned runs (2.11 ERA), 7 walks, and 35 strikeouts. This goes along with his 59.8% ground ball rate over the time. Rodriguez has even seen his velocity increase this season and was sitting 93-96 in mid June. Joely was almost out of the org this spring, but now he is right on the cusp of the majors once again, this time in the bullpen.

Arano came over to the Phillies as part of the Roberto Hernandez trade in 2014. This year the 21 year old Mexican righty has moved full time to the bullpen as he repeats Clearwater. Arano has expressed a preference for the bullpen, and he has really fit in there this year. His velocity is up from sitting 91-94 to sitting more 93-96 touching 97. He adds to that a good breaking ball and a changeup. The hallmark of Arano’s struggles last year was throwing strikes, but not putting guys away, he is now putting guys away and still not walking anyone. He has a 2.1 BB/9 ratio on the season, but has been even better of late posting a 4:43 BB:K ratio the past two months over 37.2 innings. Arano will need to continue to polish his secondary stuff to be a high leverage reliever, but he looks like he could be a good 6th/7th inning guy eventually and he is still young enough that he could still improve more. He will join fellow hard throwing righties Jimmy Cordero, Gregory Infante, Miguel Nunez, and Alexis Rivero in the Reading bullpen where they will try and carry Reading to an Eastern League championship.

Author: Matt Winkelman

Matt Winkelman

Matt is originally from Mt. Holly, NJ, but after a 4 year side track to Cleveland for college he now resides in Madison, WI. His work has appeared on Phuture Phillies, The Good Phight, and TheDynastyGuru.