Player Profile: Wandy Rodriguez

Wandy Rodriguez has worn the Astros uniform since breaking into the big leagues back in 2005. He is the only player left from the ’05 World Series team. Wandy has been a solid and consistent performer on the mound and I think he is grossly underrated. Over the last four seasons Rodriguez ranks in the top ten in almost every category among left-handed pitchers.

The possibility exists that Rodriguez could be traded before Opening Day. But I think the Astros would be wise to keep Wandy around for the next two seasons. Wandy has two years left on his current contract and will make $11 million this season and $13 million in 2013. That’s not a bad deal for a guy who pitches 200 innings a year and provides protection for the young up-and-coming arms in the Astros organization. Wandy should start the season as the Astros number 1 or 2 starter.

Wandy keeps hitters off-balance with a 12 to 6 curveball that makes his low nineties fastball look faster than it actually is. Last season was somewhat atypical for Rodriguez. Prior to 2011 his career numbers at home were much better than his road numbers. Wandy found more consistency on the road in 2011, holding opposition hitters to a .248 average in 17 road starts as opposed to a .256 average in 13 home starts. Wandy had a 7-7 record on the road and a 4-4 record at home. That’s pretty good considering the Astros 56-106 overall record. Although his ERA stayed on par with the three previous seasons, Wandy’s FIP jumped to 4.15 in 2011 after staying between 3.50 and 3.62 from ’08 to ’10. Rodriguez also saw his HR% jump to 13% last season after posting a sub-10% figure in each of the three previous years. In addition his strikeout rate was down and his walk rate went up slightly. Could these all be signs that Wandy has peaked and is starting to decline?

Jeff Luhnow and Sig Mejdal may think Wandy has passed his prime. Luhnow has said he is not actively shopping Wandy but will listen to offers. A scientific decision could be on the horizon. Are Wandy’s days in Houston numbered? Maybe…

Topics: Astros, Jeff Luhnow, Wandy Rodriguez

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  • Its Gonna Happen

    Wandy has never been my favorite pitcher by any means, mainly because he always seemed so inconsistant. Now that we’re trying to trade him for prospects I find myself saying he has been a stellar pitcher and any team would be lucky to have him.

    Now taking a step back and trying to take an unbias approach, I think Wandy is a good pitcher that CAN be dominant and strike out 10+, or he CAN be inconsistant with his pitches and very ineffective. He seemed to have ironed out some of his home/road problems but now he looks as though he may be slipping. Being more of a finesse pitcher I don’t think he’ll have a rapid decline but I do think he is on the backside of his career.

    Hopefully Wandy has a great start to the season and a top contender finds themself desperate for a starting pitcher and we can make out like bandits, but I still have my worries that The Wand might have his early season struggles. If we can get a good return by the trade deadline, I would pull the trigger and continue to stock up for the future.

  • Its Gonna Happen

    Should have said starting down the backside of his career. he still has a couple of good years left in the tank.

  • astrosince1975

    @Its Gonna Happen When Wandy has his pitches working it is a thing of beauty. But when he struggles it is brutal. At times last year he seemed to be going through the motions. I hope that wasn’t the case, I think this team needs him (and Myers) to eat up some innings and allow the youngsters to be brought along slowly. But when Luhnow said Bud Norris is a big part of the Astros’ future it made me wonder if Myers and Wandy are on the way out.

  • Its Gonna Happen

    Wandy has never been my favorite pitcher by any means, mainly because he always seemed so inconsistant. Now that we’re trying to trade him for prospects I find myself saying he has been a stellar pitcher and any team would be lucky to have him.

    Now taking a step back and trying to take an unbias approach, I think Wandy is a good pitcher that CAN be dominant and strike out 10+, or he CAN be inconsistant with his pitches and very ineffective. He seemed to have ironed out some of his home/road problems but now he looks as though he may be slipping. Being more of a finesse pitcher I don’t think he’ll have a rapid decline but I do think he is on the backside of his career.

    Hopefully Wandy has a great start to the season and a top contender finds themself desperate for a starting pitcher and we can make out like bandits, but I still have my worries that The Wand might have his early season struggles. If we can get a good return by the trade deadline, I would pull the trigger and continue to stock up for the future.

    • Its Gonna Happen

      Should have said starting down the backside of his career. he still has a couple of good years left in the tank.

      • astrosince1975

        @Its Gonna Happen When Wandy has his pitches working it is a thing of beauty. But when he struggles it is brutal. At times last year he seemed to be going through the motions. I hope that wasn’t the case, I think this team needs him (and Myers) to eat up some innings and allow the youngsters to be brought along slowly. But when Luhnow said Bud Norris is a big part of the Astros’ future it made me wonder if Myers and Wandy are on the way out.

        • Its Gonna Happen

          @astrosince1975 That is my one worry about him leaving. I’m ok with the team doing badly next year but I don’t want to overload the young pitchers coming up. I remember Bud and Happ both took a long time before they could get past the 5th inning, and if that’s the case with the new guys coming up, our bullet is going to get chewed up. Even still, I’m for trading him for the right deal.

        • Its Gonna Happen

          Dam phone…bullpen*

        • Stroscrow

          @Its Gonna Happen To trade Wandy or not to that is the question.

          Tough one to answer.

          On the one hand maybe Wandy goes out and regains his 09 form and raises his value which would be smarter than eating salary now. On the other hand he could be just meh, and become the type that is more valuable to us as an innings eater than he would have in trade value and thus would have more value now.

          Knowing the unknown.

  • Its Gonna Happen

    @astrosince1975 That is my one worry about him leaving. I’m ok with the team doing badly next year but I don’t want to overload the young pitchers coming up. I remember Bud and Happ both took a long time before they could get past the 5th inning, and if that’s the case with the new guys coming up, our bullet is going to get chewed up. Even still, I’m for trading him for the right deal.

  • Its Gonna Happen

    Dam phone…bullpen*

  • Stroscrow

    @Its Gonna Happen To trade Wandy or not to that is the question.

    Tough one to answer.

    On the one hand maybe Wandy goes out and regains his 09 form and raises his value which would be smarter than eating salary now. On the other hand he could be just meh, and become the type that is more valuable to us as an innings eater than he would have in trade value and thus would have more value now.

    Knowing the unknown.