Braves sign left-hander from Mexican League

Looking to improve their depth in left-handed starting pitching, the Braves signed left-hander Daniel Rodriguez out of the Mexican League. The 27-year-old sinkerballer has led the Mexican League in strikeouts each of the past three seasons.

The Braves purchased his contract from the Saltillo Saraperos last Saturday, signing him to a minor league deal, which they finalized Friday when he traveled to Turner Field for a physical and a bullpen session.

“We’ve seen the value of (left-handing pitching) just watching (Paul) Maholm and what he can do to other clubs,” Braves general manager Frank Wren said.

“We have not had an opportunity to have a lot of left-handers in our rotation in recent years, and so he was a guy that stood out for us and our scouts internationally and also statistically.”

Rodriguez went 11-5 with a 2.54 ERA in 20 starts in the Mexican League this summer. He had 135 strikeouts and 46 walks in 117 innings. Wren said he throws a fastball in the 89-92 mph range, with a good change-up, and his strikeout pitch is his curveball.

Once Rodriguez secures his work visa in Mexico, he’ll report to Triple-A Gwinnett to pitch for the remainder of the season.

“We see him as a guy that would somewhat similar to (first-round pick Sean) Gilmartin in that he’d be a guy that would likely be in the Gwinnett rotation to start the season next year,” Wren said. “And who knows after that.”

33 comments Add your comment

Tomas

August 17th, 2012
7:30 pm

By that description I’m picturing a Wandy Rodriguez type pitcher

Laughing out Loud

August 17th, 2012
9:47 pm

Frank Wren continues to do a stellar job at maintaining a strong pitching staff in the majors as well as the minor league system. Way to go Frank in finding and signing outstanding pitchers!

Darryl Blackberry

August 17th, 2012
11:18 pm

Our cup runneth over with pitching. Can never have enough.

BravesWin

August 17th, 2012
11:33 pm

Good pickup for the minor roster, makes room for September ML call-ups as well as building for seasons to come.

monty

August 17th, 2012
11:38 pm

But do they use the same size baseball down south as they do up here?

rump

August 17th, 2012
11:49 pm

they use golf balls down there.

lee maye

August 17th, 2012
11:51 pm

It ain’t Frank finding these guys. It would be his scouts. Thanks to them. The last one Frank liked and didn’t see was KK and he threw over 25 mil at him for 3 years. So, we must have some outstanding scouts who have found guys like this one, Sheets, Constanza, Durango, Gattis, Avilan, Terdo, Janish, among others.

Believe it was the Gwinnett manager who was raving about Janish. Those are good baseball scouts and managers, not Frank.

braveslover

August 17th, 2012
11:55 pm

Paul M reminds me of a lefty Beachy. Way to go Juan F your hard work with the hitting coaches is paying off big time for you and the team. Maybe someone will make a hard slide into second and spike Uggs so that he can sit for a couple of days. Put Prado at second and Reed in left…life would be good indeed.

Just Asking?

August 17th, 2012
11:57 pm

Do we have someone who can take over center field if we can’t re-sign Bourn? We are going to need outfielders since Prado will likely be playing 3rd. Who’s it going to be? Just Asking?

Big Country

August 18th, 2012
12:03 am

With the way Fransisco rakes, there is a very good chance he will be our third baseman next year.

lee maye

August 18th, 2012
12:44 am

Plenty of prospects for CF. Durango is hitting .285 with 44 steals at Gwinnett. Speed to burn. In Baseball America tools, Durango was the fastest in the IL. Constanza is hitting .315 at Gwinnett. Cunningham is hitting .314 at MS and is a switchhitter.

Need to get rid of Uggla and move Prado to 2B. Francisco at 3B. Resign Reed Johnson as the 4th OF. Then, would have 50 mil to resign Bourn, get a SP if we need one, and sign Heyward, Prado, and Freeman to long term contracts. And, sign a LF with speed if Gattis is not ready.

legalbuzz

August 18th, 2012
2:03 am

Interesting. Always good to add to depth and keep competition in the Minors. Heck, the last guy we got from Mexico was a decent addition, even though he was almost 50 (Julio Franco). :

BTW…stuck with Uggla for at least two more. He will get a big post-season hit…you guys wanted to chase Juan Francisco two months ago.

Bitter much?

August 18th, 2012
7:59 am

Mexican brave…..hope you feel better,,,,good to let it all out, right?

mark

August 18th, 2012
8:08 am

Hey Mexican Brave… don,t let these folks “steal your joy” hope your bro is great ,we need him! peace out

JREV

August 18th, 2012
8:43 am

Hey Mexican Brave, chill out and have a chick-fil-a to help save marriage from being destroyed by gays. Just kidding about the latter. Seriously, don’t let anonymous message board posters get to you. Go braves, from any race.

Just wondering

August 18th, 2012
9:26 am

Mexican Brave, what’s the deal with those jumping beans?

Pippa's hiney

August 18th, 2012
9:35 am

Need to go after Headley big time.

Cunning Stunt

August 18th, 2012
10:10 am

Hey Mexican Brave I think the question about baseball size was asked because the Japanese Leagues do use a smaller ball and some of those pitchers have struggled when moving to the US and having to throw a larger, heavier ball. I think they just wanted to be certain the Mexican League used the same ball as the US league. I did not perceive anything more, but obviously you did.

Fence builder

August 18th, 2012
10:22 am

Mexican Brave, you are correct, Mexico is awesome! I don’t know how Mexico deals with all of the illegals sneaking into their country!

Fence builder

August 18th, 2012
10:25 am

P.S., did you catch the score of the soccer game the other day?

Hammond

August 18th, 2012
11:17 am

Lee Maye: Shut Up if you were so good you would be in sports not working retail

htownbravesfan

August 18th, 2012
11:46 am

Maybe I’m showing off my age or Braves knowledge, but does anyone remember back in the ’80s when there was alot of hype surrounding another Mexican League signing, German Jimenez? He came in, looked physically awful, and stunk up the launching pad. Everytime I hear about a player from the Mexican League, I think back to that and laugh.

El Gwapo

August 18th, 2012
12:14 pm

Daryl–I know you only get your news from the trustees at hand, but the Braves do not have plethora of pitching. Hanson has lost 5 to 6mph on his fastball, Sheets is pitching with a mechanically-induced arm, and JJ is lost forever.
Huddy is good most of the time (think ankle), Minor is not yet “seasoned,” and Delgado and Teheran are both huge question marks. Venters is also extremely inconsistent.
Maholm, though, has been awesome.

least of the east

August 18th, 2012
12:42 pm

sure we are short of left handed pitchers. if you gave away Harrison, Locke and Diamond, then drafted Evarts, De Vall, and Stovall, you’d have few decent lefties too.
as far as RHPs go, Teheran has added a slider now and he was sharp last outing. maybe we can still salvage him.
lots of teams signed intl guys after 7/2. did Braves sign anybody ? not from what I saw on BA

JimBob

August 18th, 2012
12:47 pm

My sources, Miss Cleo and Shirley McClaine both have assured me that

Hudson will have off season surgery on his ankle and be effective for another 2-3 seasons.

Sheets will have a full offseason and Spring Training to strengthen the weakened body areas from lack of use and surgery and come back 100% in 2013 and be effective another 2-3 seasons.

Maholm has learned how to become a pitcher and will be effective another 2-3 seasons.

Minor has used this year as a learning experience and has turned the corner. He will reward in 2013 and beyond.

Medlen is a GM’s dream. Rotation or Bullpen or both

Hanson, Teheran and maybe Delgado will be part of a winter trade. Their time is now, but not in Braves future. There is no room in Atlanta for them or Gwinette and will be home to new pitchers who graduate to there or are acquired.

Minor League Prospects serve two purposes. 
1. One purpose of the Front Office and the Minor League System is to locate, secure, create, refine talent & provide that talent for your Big League Team

2. Another pupose of the Front Office and the Minor League System is use those as assets (pieces) to acquire Existing Big League Players in trade. 

It is up to the front office to determine which prospects (pieces) are disposable and any team always runs the risk that a prospect or two will develop differently than was originally thought. 

Some prospects are blocked at the major league level, traded away, and then become valuable players. That is the risk and as long as the return is just as valuable then the reward is great.

Miss Cleo says that you Prospect Huggers need loosen your grip on Prospects and tighten your grip on the realities of Baseball.

tgurley3

August 18th, 2012
12:52 pm

if he helps great sign if he doesn`t no biggie definately worth the risk good luck kid.

bobbymahlon

August 18th, 2012
4:20 pm

My main concern with Francesco is he does not look good against left hand pitching but maybe if he played every day he would improve as he gets more comfortable.

Ghost of Gil Garrido

August 18th, 2012
7:47 pm

Town: you are correct about Jimenez, but your memory should also bring back Fernando-Mania, and the terrific couple of seasons he brought Los Dodgers back in the day. I’ll take my chances with this young man. Go Daniel Rodriguez!

Coach (2012 Fredi's Beisbol Fandango)

August 18th, 2012
10:49 pm

Frank Wren just keeps on stockpiling pitching which is why this organization stays ahead of the curve.

mpimentel

August 19th, 2012
9:58 am

Yeah yeah yeah myabe a good sign…but what about bring for weheever place a power batter for upcoming season!

Stan

August 20th, 2012
12:18 pm

Love getting more southpaws in the organization, especially if they have starting potential. The roster spot I’m most concerned about presently is 2B. I realize Uggla represents our sole RH power threat in the lineup, but is the guy consistent enough to be making such major dinero? Having my doubts. Prado gives us he flexibility to look for RH power at other positions, especially outfield. Any thoughts about available players this offseason or possible trade targets?

j.c

December 27th, 2012
4:37 pm

Danny Rodriguez is a good pitcher better than wendy Rodriguez.. he’s ready for mlb…

j.c

December 27th, 2012
4:42 pm

He pitch like Tom Glavine….

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