Endy Rodriguez is heading to Pittsburgh, per Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Also, per sources, Liover Peguero will be joining Endy Rodriguez on the trip from Triple-A Indianapolis. Monday should be a busy day.— Jason Mackey (@JMackeyPG) July 16, 2023
It’s about time.
Rodriguez, the 35th-ranked prospect in all of baseball according to MLB pipeline, was hitting a ridiculous .371/.461/.565 since June 22. After one of the most successful campaigns across the entire Minors in 2022 that saw his rise from high A all the way to AAA Indianapolis, putting up an OPS of 1.120 in AA, he underperformed to start 2023, posting just an 81 WRC+ through the end of May.
Invited to the futures game in Seattle over the All-Star break, he spoke to Alex Stumpf of DK Pittsburgh sports about learning to be patient and not trying to do more than he is capable of at the plate.
The patience has paid off and earned him the move many have been clamoring for the Pirates to make for weeks. Pirates' catchers have combined for a WRC+ of a meager 47 entering Sunday’s game in 2023. Starter Austin Hedges is having a historically bad season, hitting a miniscule .175/.226/.227 across 61 games.
Rodriguez truly earned this move and forced the Pirates ever stubborn hand. Getting Hedges, one of the worst starters the team has deployed in living memory off the field and out of the lineup, is the bare minimum of what is to be expected of a Major League Baseball organization.
Be it Rodriguez or Henry Davis who has been with the team for weeks playing almost exclusively RF, the days of Hedges taking the majority of the reps at catcher should have ended well before mid-July came around and any reasonable excuse for it had long since expired.
Joining Rodriguez will be the Pirates’ sixth-ranked prospect, SS Liover Peguero. Peguero started in AA Altoona this year and since June 1 has slugged .536 on his way to a 131 WRC+.
No team can plan for or expect the loss of an Oneil Cruz, but since he went down with a fractured ankle in April the team has gotten just a .610 OPS from shortstop. Tucapita Marcano and Rodolfo Castro are the two main options they have used. They have a negative seven and negative six OAA at SS respectively. Castro was optioned before Sunday’s contest to make room for the returning Andrew McCutchen.
Both Rodriguez and Peguero are already on the 40-man roster so they only need to make room on the active for both. Currently carrying just two middle infielders, one third baseman and five outfielders, the likely moves here will be optioning Jason Delay and Josh Palacios.
Recently called up and placed on the taxi squad, Quinn Priester will need both an active roster spot and a spot on the 40-man. Mike Burrows was a recipient of Tommy John surgery earlier this season and has yet to be placed on the 60-day IL.
This story will be updated as soon as the corresponding moves are officially announced.
Update: The Pirates have announced the following roster moves