Red Sox trade with the Phillies has an Eduardo Rodriguez connection
At the trading deadline in the 2014 season, the Boston Red Sox made a transaction with the Baltimore Orioles that continues to pay dividends. Boston acquired a left-hander for the O’s named Eduardo Rodriguez. Baltimore received Andrew Miller and Miller certainly contributed to the O’s taking the division. This deal has an interesting connection and similarity to one made in 2020.
This was a rental as the now redundant statement goes for deals such as this one. Miller signed as a free-agent with the Yankees and the O’s were crushed in the playoffs. The Red Sox finished last in the division and took a prospect of value. Rodriguez was ranked third in the Baltimore system in 2013 and then sixth with Boston in 2014.
I remember scanning the statistical information on Rodriguez and was not impressed. E-Rod was plying his trade in the Eastern League (AA) at Bowie and had some rough outings. At the time of the deal, the lefty was just 3-7 with a 4.79 ERA. Rodriguez stayed in the EL and became part of the Portland rotation. What happened? Was it the change of scenery? The love of the Portland fog? A coaching change? Rodriguez went 3-1 with a 0.96 ERA in his last six starts.
"It’s amazing what growth and maturity can do for a young player. Rodriguez looked like a finesse lefty when he started out his pro career. The Venezuelan’s stuff was much better during his 2012 full-season debut, with a tailing fastball that should be above-average. His breaking ball is still a bit inconsistent, but it shows occasional sharp bite and his changeup has improved some as well. He’s lean and lanky with some deception to his delivery. He generally throws strikes and if he can keep developing on this path, he has a future as a big-league starter. – MLB Prospect Watch"
By the end of May in 2015, Rodriguez was in Boston to stay. The road had potholes, primarily injury and control related. But in 2019 that talent described in scouting reports surfaced with a 19-6 record and the cusp of ace status.
Boston was on the fast track to nowhere in 2020 and made another deal of bullpen pitchers. Brandon Workman and Heath Hembree went to Philadelphia. Nick Pivetta and Connor Seabold arrived in Beantown.. They are here and Workman and Hembree are no longer Phillies.
Seabold is a right-hander whose last team of significant residence was Reading in the IL. Seabold made seven starts with a 3-1 record and 2.25 ERA. That was 2019 and Seabold carried that over to the Arizona Fall League. At the time of the trade Seabold was ranked 30th in the Phils system and is now 22nd in the Boston system.
"Seabold is all about mixing his pitches, his overall feel for pitching and his command, rather than pure stuff, with three offerings that typically grade out as average. He will show an above-average fastball on occasion, with a tweak to his delivery helping him add a tick, though he usually sits in the 90-93 range. He mixes in his average changeup effectively and he’ll show an average breaking ball. His ability to keep hitters guessing and fill up the strike zone will continue to be key for him moving forward. – MLB Prospect Watch"
Where will Seabold pitch in 2021? The projection on Sox Prospects is Seabold will be part of the WooSox rotation in Worcester (AAA). A similar path that Rodriguez followed. Will the results be similar? Will Seabold show enough to move to the next level – Boston? Young pitchers can make remarkable strides in their advancement and Seabold just may follow that path.
Pivetta is stalled. In the Phillies system, Pivetta was ranked at one time 17th and made it into the rotation. The problem is his pitching eventually took him out of the rotation. A pitching puzzle with nice pieces that simply failed consistently to fit together. With Boston, his 2-0 and 1.80 ERA may be an illusion – a tease. The righty at 28-years-old may have put it together.
"The Phillies like Pivetta’s size and his arm, even if it eventually ends up in a bullpen. Bouncing back from his post-trade performance has more believing he has what it takes to stick as a starter. – MLB Prospect Watch"
Pivetta reminded me somewhat of another Phillies pitcher who did nothing. A pitcher who failed with several other teams and then put it together – Dave Stewart. That, of course, is a real long shot, but the Red Sox are long overdue for some good fortune in the rotation department and maybe Seabold and Pivetta will be it?