Blue Jays: Sam Gaviglio Opposes Eduardo Rodriguez
On Saturday, July 14, the Blue Jays play the third of a four game set against the Boston Red Sox. Eduardo Rodriguez will climb the hill for the Red Sox and the Blue Jays will start Sam Gaviglio.
Eduardo Rodriguez is one of the most important pieces of the Sox rotation. With big names like David Price, Chris Sale, and Rick Porcello all making upwards of $13 million, there needs to be some players that are underpaid. With just a few years of service time in the majors, Rodriguez makes just $2,375,000.
The lefty’s season has been great, but, the start of his season was far from memorable. Starting on April 8 against the Tampa Bay Rays, the southpaw surrendered three earned runs and five hits over three and two thirds innings. After this start, his ERA sat at an inflated 7.36.
However, the left-handed hurler made up for this poor start with three quality starts against the Orioles, Angles, and Blue Jays. The Jays provided the most offensive firepower of these three teams, producing six hits, one home run, and three earned runs. Despite this, the southpaw still went deep, pitching six and two-thirds against the Blue Birds.
Overall, Rodriguez’ numbers are quite strong for the season. In eighteen starts, the hurler has produced a 3.62 ERA, 3.67 FIP, 1.248 WHIP, and 120 ERA+. In total, the lefty has been worth 1.6 fWAR.
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The Red Sox starter has slightly altered his pitch selection from other years. Specifically, the pitcher has increased his cut-fastball use, a pitch he rarely, or never, used in years past. Along with the cutter, the starter mixes between a four seam fastball, change-up, slider, and sinker.
The left-hander has thrown his four seam fastball 43.6% of the time this season. The heater is decently quick, posting an average velocity of 93.84 mph. The four seamer hasn’t been that effective, allowed a .243 BAA and four home runs. Despite these concerning numbers, the pitch has also struck out 36 batters.
The southpaw has used his change-up 22.4% of the time this season. The off speed pitch is quite fast, maintaining an average velocity of 88.10 mph. Also, the change has produced whiffs at a great rate of 38.77% of swings. However, batters have also hit the pitch fairly well, producing a .255 BAA.
Rodriguez has fired home his cutter 16.1% of the time this season. The cut-fastball has been just a little bit faster than the change, posting an average velocity of 89.81 mph. Last season the cutter was never used, and it was utilized just 2.8% of the time in 2016. The pitch has allowed 14 singles, but just three extra base hits—two doubles and a home run.
To complete his pitch offerings the lefty utilizes a slider and sinker. The slider has been thrown 11.6% of the time and the sinking-fastball has seen action 6.3% of the time. Both pitches have been hit hard, producing a .474 SLGA and .419 SLGA, respectively.
The young starter’s strikeout and walk numbers are good, but not amazing. At the midway point of the season, he has posted a 24.7% K-rate and a 9.51 K/9. However, he has also walked batters at a rate of 7.5% and maintained a 2.90 BB/9.
The Blue Jays have mixed results in limited experience against the Sox hurler. Russell Martin owns four hits—including a double and home run—in 14 at-bats. However, Randal Grichuk has taken the collar in five at-bats.
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Sam Gaviglio will take one for the team on Saturday, starting on limited rest after a short start in Atlanta. While the Blue Jyas have hit Rodriguez a little bit in the past, they will need a fair amount of production to beat the Boston offensive attack.