Henry Rodriguez is one of those right-handed pitchers that can drive a fanbase crazy. He possesses a world of potential in his right arm, capable of consistently throwing in the upper 90s and hitting 100 MPH from time to time, yet he can be completely erratic and unpredictable with his control.
Rodriguez has caused the full gauntlet of emotions for fans of the Washington Nationals this season. Thrust into the closer’s role in early April, after injuries sidelined Drew Storen and Brad Lidge, he was able to convert on 9 of his first 12 save opportunities before landing on the disabled list at the start of June.
He’d return a month later, the closer’s role having since been awarded to Tyler Clippard, and see mixed results working in middle relief. Once again, come early August he was back on the DL.
Both stints on the DL were due to separate injuries, first to his index finger and second to his lower back. It would seem that might not have been all that was going on with Rodriguez, however, as the 25 year old underwent surgery Friday afternoon to remove a bone spur in his right elbow, according to Mark Zuckerman. The procedure was performed by team orthopedist Wiemi Douoguih in Washington. Rodriguez likely won’t be able to participate in Winter Ball in his home country of Venezuela this year, but is expected to be ready in time for Spring Training.
The injury is similar to that which sidelined Storen for the season’s first three months. Mike Rizzo stated, according to Zuckerman, that Rodriguez didn’t notify the team of any concerns with regards to his elbow until mid-July so it’s uncertain just how long he was suffering from pain and discomfort due to the injury. It’s also unclear how it affected his on-field performance. Rodriguez didn’t allow a single earned run over his first nine appearances on the season but pitched to a 8.14 ERA since.
He’ll finish the season with a 1-3 record, 9 saves, and a 5.83 ERA over 35 appearances (29.1 innings). He’s out of options, meaning he can’t be sent to the minor leagues without being first exposed to waivers, so the team is going to face a similar concern next Spring as they did this past one where Rodriguez will need to make the Major League roster out of Spring Training.