Thanks for your patience, readers. This is the last installment of the 2012 Player-By-Player wrap up. (photo: The Washington Post)
Henry Rodriguez is the ultimate “pitcher with potential.” He has potential because he can hit triple-digits on the radar gun with his fastball on command. The problem: he rarely knows where it’s going. His only truly decent season was his 2011 campaign where he had a 3.56 ERA in 65.2 innings. Unfortunately, he also had a 1.508 WHIP and led the National League with 14 wild pitches.
In 2012, his potential earned him a few games as the Nationals' closer. Unfortunately, he blew 25% of his save chances before he was removed from the role in favor of Tyler Clippard. In just 29.1 innngs because of a back injury, Rodriguez still finished third in wild pitches in the National League and finished with a 5.83 ERA.
There was a Nationals Classic on MASN the other day, and Henry Rodriguez was on the mound. It is easy to forget how terrifying it was to watch HRod pitch. When he’s on, he is absolutely untouchable with his fastball and an occasional changeup. When he’s not on, it’s worse than a train wreck. The catcher’s mitt could be a mile wide and he couldn’t hit it.
Next year: It’s hard to imagine how Rodriguez cracks the 25-man roster this season because of the team’s depth there, but if he doesn’t, he’s out of minor league options which would put him on the open market. If he becomes available, some team will pick him up, seeing the same potential in him that the Nationals did when they acquired him in the Josh Willingham trade.
Next up: Some 2013 season previews