Fernando Rodriguez

Posted by Jason Wojciechowski on September 9, 2016 at 10:43 PM

I'll be honest with you: I thought Fernando Rodriguez hadn't pitched for the A's yet this season. Turns out he threw 40 innings at a slightly lower quality than we've come to expect from the middle reliever before going down with a shoulder strain. Now comes the news that he's had some sort of inscrutable surgery on some muscle, tendon, or other element of his physical corpus. He already wasn't going to pitch again this year, say the reporters relaying the news from the front office. He can't throw for four months, which means January, which means six weeks before spring training begins, which means maybe he'll be a little delayed, and if there are any setbacks or other A's-like issues, who even knows what his 2017 will look like.

He's not a free agent yet, and he only made $1 million this year, so the A's should be able to keep him around if they want to pay him, I don't know, $1.5 million? I'm curious to see whether the A's tender him a contract. On the one hand, even for the A's, $1.5 million is nothing; on the other, he's unoptionable, and the A's are already looking at, barring trades (but also barring acquisitions), Madson, Dull, Doolittle, Axford, Hendriks, and maybe Triggs. Then there are the youngsters who may or may not hack it in the rotation: Cotton, Alcantara, Mengden, Bassitt, Overton, Montas. Given certain relative rotation locks (Manaea, Gray, Graveman), the rotation overflow could end up in the 'pen, which means less reason to carry an injured 100 ERA+ guy at three times the league minimum.

And yet, again, it's $1.5 million, and most of that rotation overflow can be optioned to Triple-A. This is why David Forst gets the big bucks and I'm on my couch watching Stan Wawrinka while I scribble in vim.

Let me just ... this is rude, but like I said, I'm on my couch and it's 11pm and I'm feeling ornery. I hate the way injury information is reported. I think delving deeper into a player's injuries in the specific is kind of gross and weird and there's no reason fans have any right to know any of this. What's shared is, I think, already more than really needs to be shared; the model should probably be the minor leagues, where a lot of times there's no announcement, there's no discussion, there's just a guy on the disabled list instead of the active roster.

But given that we live in a world in which lots of injury information is disclosed and reported, I think we could be doing a lot better than reprinting press releases. Again, it's not about delving into the specifics for a particular guy; it's about contextualizing from past injury information and providing functional explanations of what was injured, how it was injured, what that injury means for baseball motion, how the rehab looks, etc. Beat writers have a lot on their plates, digital-driven deadlines, and no medical training, so I get why they're not doing this, but isn't it weird that since Will Carroll left us, there's nobody filling this gap? Say what you will about Carroll, but the man had comparables for days.

Seeing as how I'm not eager to volunteer for this duty, I'm probably being unfair and just whining about wanting all the things for free.