Dodgers Injuries: Say It Ain’t So, Paco Rodriguez


I didn’t want to have to write the sad Paco post. I’m sick of writing about the season-ending injuries and the trade goodbyes. I would rather write about the amazing incredible Justin Turner and his red-headed adventures, but alas I must be the bearer of bad news when it comes to Dodger reliever Paco Rodriguez on this uncharacteristically humid (Florida-like) SoCal summer evening.

It seems like every time I get excited to see a healthy Paco Rodriguez on the mound, he succumbs to another career stalling injury. Stalling seems to be the right description to describe Paco’s untapped talent. When Paco first debuted with the Dodgers he had a quirky delivery but some dynamic left-handed pitching which was integral to the Dodgers bullpen in 2013.

It is ironic that the bad news came during the Dodgers trip to Miami where Paco Rodriguez was born. Paco was drafted in the second round of the 2012 Draft and became the first player to reach the majors out of his draft class. After being the closer for the Gators at the University of Florida, Paco burst on to the scene as an effective late-inning reliever.

Next Thursday, Paco Rodriguez will have arthroscopic surgery on his left elbow. He is expected to be out 8-10 weeks.

Paco has been on the disabled list since May 31st with bone spurs in his elbow. Paco pitched in four rehab games in Rancho Cucamonga and Oklahoma City before returning to discuss matters with Dr. Neil ElAttrache in Los Angeles.

Rodriguez had pitched in 18 games for the Dodgers this season, and he had no record with a 2.61 ERA in 10 1/3 innings pitched. He struck out 8 and walked 3.

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After struggling in 2014, Paco had modified his delivery again with some good results which were evident in Spring Training. I thought that Paco was going to be an important part of the 2015 bullpen alongside fellow lefty J.P. Howell. It had been awhile since the Dodgers had more than one left-hander in the bullpen in which to choose from. Remember when Hung-Chih Kuo was the sole southpaw for the Dodgers out of the pen?

Paco will be missed. Photo: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

So it was nice to have Paco, J.P., Adam Liberatore and Dan Coulombe at the Dodgers disposal, but losing Paco for basically the rest of the season is another blow to the pitching staff which has suffered injuries to their starting and relief corps. The return of Pedro Baez is a boost, and J.P. Howell has been a reliable lefty option. Adam Liberatore has been great so fat this season, but I still will miss Paco’s presence.

Brandon League will pitch again for the Oklahoma City Dodgers on Saturday and Sunday in Nashville. League could return within days.

After working back post  shoulder surgery, it is disappointing to see Paco stalled with another injury. His talents as seen in 2013 have been underutilized due to the injuries. Paco has been a favorite of mine, and I look forward to seeing him pitch in Blue again soon.

Here’s to a speedy recovery, Paco!