On Thursday evening, the Pittsburgh Pirates announced that they have signed outfielder Todd Cunningham and right-handed pitcher Richard Rodriguez to minor league deals. Both players received invites to Major League Spring Training. We announced the Cunningham news here back on November 16th, with details of his signing in this link.
As for Rodriguez, the 27-year-old made his Major League debut this September with the Baltimore Orioles, throwing 5.2 innings over five relief appearances. He did not pitch well in his extremely limited time, allowing nine earned runs on 12 hits, including four home runs.
Rodriguez spent the better part of the season in Triple-A Norfolk, where he had a 2.42 ERA, a 1.05 WHIP and 80 strikeouts in 70.2 innings. He originally signed with the Houston Astros as an amateur free agent and made his pro debut back in 2010. He has played parts of four seasons in Triple-A, posting a 2.70 ERA in 243 innings, which is made more impressive by the fact that two of those years were spent in the high-offense Pacific Coast League.
Rodriguez has been a fly ball pitcher during his career, including an extremely low 0.39 GO/AO ratio this season in the minors. He throws a fastball/slider combo, with the fastball sitting in the 93-95 MPH range.