There have not been a lot of good things going on for the Pittsburgh Pirates this season, but one of their few good things has been the player Richard Rodriguez.
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The right-hander is posting a 2.82 ERA with a 0.83 whip in 38 innings in the role as Pittsburgh’s primary closer. Rodriguez likes to beat batters with his heater – he throws his fastball almost 85% of the time, which hangs in the mid-90s and generates a ton of movement.
Rodriguez certainly checks all the boxes for what Houston needs at the deadline – he doesn’t give up a ton of walks (1.1 per nine), he doesn’t give up a ton of hits (6.2 per nine) and he has a high spin rate on both his fastball and slider.
It seems like tradition that the Pirates are deadline sellers giving away their best talent, and that appears to be the case once again this season. Pittsburgh is already traded Adam Frazier to the Padres and look to be getting loads of interest for both Rodriguez and Brian Reynolds.
Houston has had luck trading with Pittsburgh before (We miss you, Gerrit Cole) so perhaps there can be some mirrored success with another trade for a Pittsburgh pitcher. If Pittsburgh isn’t willing to move their closer, Houston could explore their other bullpen guys like Chris Stratton or David Bednar in a trade.