Guess Who’s Back? Wandy Rodriguez Returns to the Houston Astros.
Earlier this morning, the Houston Astros signed Wandy Rodriguez to a minor-league contract that includes a Spring Training invite. Personally, I’m pumped to have a member of the 2005 World Series Astros team back on the roster. Hopefully, Wandy will be able to mentor some of the young talent coming through the Astros system, as he certainly has a lot to offer from an experience standpoint.
Rodriguez, a 37-year-old left-handed pitcher, has pitched sparingly in the MLB the last few seasons. After being traded by the Astros to the Pirates back in 2012, Rodriguez spent three seasons in Pittsburgh, signed as a free agent with Atlanta and failed to make it out of Spring Training, then spent about four months pitching for the Texas Rangers last season.
In 2015, Rodriguez posted a 6-4 record along with a 4.90 ERA, 86.1 innings pitched, 72 strikeouts, a 1.56 WHIP, and a 0.4 WAR (which was an improvement from 2014). He helped the Rangers out a little bit when they were thin on starting pitching, and was able to pick up some wins on the way, which is always the most important number in the stat column.
As far as expectations for Rodriguez in 2016, I think there’s a lot of uncertainty from Astros fans right now. I think that Rodriguez can be a great insurance option for the Astros either in long relief, or if one of the main starting pitchers gets injured.
I certainly do not believe that this signing puts the Astros out of the market for a major starting pitcher such as Yovani Gallardo or Doug Fister. You can never have enough starting pitching, and no offense to Wandy, but his signing should not have had too much of an impact on the Astros budget for this offseason.
Nevertheless, the Rodriguez signing seems to have Astros fans pumped up. No matter what role he plays, it will be very cool to have a former Astro back on the team. Astros fans are ready to let the nostalgia kick in, and cheer on Wandy when he takes the mound for hopefully a contending 2016 Astros team. Let’s check out some of the fan reaction from Twitter.
This Wandy signing isn’t Yoenis Cespedes or Gallardo, but it’s finally a signing after Astros fans have been begging for any little piece of information for the last couple weeks. It’s definitely great to have Wandy back, and this little piece will keep us satisfied for a little bit, but now it’s time for the big move. We’re watching, Jeff Luhnow.
**Stats from Baseball-Reference**