With the whole Blue Jays’ world fixated on pitching, a very minor move by the Cincinnati Reds has gone under the radar that could benefit the Toronto Blue Jays.
Why should the Blue Jays try to pick up Rodriguez off the scrap heap? Well, for one thing, the Venezuelan is a versatile infielder whose primary position is second base (although he can play third and short as well) who has posted some outstanding defensive numbers at the Keystone position in the minors.
Rodriguez is a year younger than Ryan Goins and offers more offensive upside to the equation. Goins hit .257/.311/.369 in Triple-A last season with just three stolen bases (in eight attempts) while hitting 22 doubles, a triple and six home runs. Rodriguez doesn’t quite have Goins’s occasional power but makes more contact, posting a ..274/.319/.335 line with 17 doubles, four home runs and 41 stolen bases (in 47 attempts) in 2013 in Triple-A.
Like Goins, Rodriguez has had some time in the major leagues (although it has only been 26 plate appearances in 21 games over two seasons. While scouting reports say that Rodriguez isn’t going to be a stellar defender at any position, he has shown himself to be capable at second base (in particular) and offers some more offensive upside than Goins has. Rodriguez has consistently put up high batting averages and fairly low strikeout rates and might be able to get his walk rates into a tolerable 6% range. Since he’s been designated for assignment by the Reds, he could probably be acquired cheaply and provide another alternative for the Blue Jays (with real, tangible upside) in the Blue Jays’ uninspiring second base picture.