Joely Rodriguez retired 11 straight batters to end his outing on Thursday night, with the final out shown in the video below. Rodriguez finished the game with one hit and one run allowed over seven innings. His first taste of AA has been a bit disappointing, with a high BAA and a low strikeout rate. The Pirates have had 26 minor league pitchers throw at least 45 innings this year and Rodriguez’s 4.6 SO/9 is the lowest rate of the group. He has had some rough outings, so his showing this week is good to see from the young lefty. The jump to AA is a big one in the minors, so the struggles aren’t surprising, but Rodriguez was added to the 40-man roster this year. That means he could run into trouble with options if he takes too long to develop. With more outings like Thursday night, that won’t be a problem.
Since the video above isn’t much, here is a video of Rodriguez from Spring Training
The second player featured today is GCL pitcher Nick Hutchings. The 18-year-old righty from Australia made his second start as a pro on Friday. He went five innings, allowing seven hits and two runs, both of which were unearned. Hutchings was signed in November 2012 and pitched in the Australian Baseball League that Winter, despite being just 16 years old at the time. The Pirates were one of five teams scouting him at the time he was signed and Hutchings had an impressive amateur career in Australia. The video below is courtesy of the GCL Pirates fan page.