Joely Rodriguez Trade Another Example Of Needless LOOGY Obsession
The New York Mets obtained Joely Rodriguez from the New York Yankees in exchange for Miguel Castro. Looking at the trade, it is difficult to ascertain just how this makes the Mets better. What is clear is this was a trade generated because the Mets felt they just needed two left-handed pitchers in the bullpen. It is something GM Billy Eppler said so himself:
"Clearly, left-handed relief was something that we were looking for"
Billy Eppler explains how the Joely Rodríguez-Miguel Castro trade came together: pic.twitter.com/UG5UOfIRwj
— SNY (@SNYtv) April 3, 2022
The obvious retort is going to be the Mets needed more left-handed relievers with Bryce Harper, Kyle Schwarber, and Juan Soto in the division. Of course, that wasn’t an impetus for the Mets to go out and beat that two year $17 million contract Aaron Loup received from the Los Angeles Dodgers.
With Rodriguez, the swap of him for Castro really doesn’t make any sense. That goes double when you consider Castro is three years younger, and both pitchers will be free agents after the season. To further the point, here are their splits from last season:
- Castro: .198/.313/.270
- Rodriguez .203/.288/.271
- Castro: .180/.327/.328
- Rodriguez 339/.380/.446
Remember, this is the era of the two batter rule for relievers. As such, the Mets are going to bring in Rodriguez to face Harper, and then, he is going to have to face Nick Castellanos. On that point, Castellanos had a 142 wRC+ against left-handed pitchers this year. It’s the same throughout the division.
After getting through Soto, Rodriguez would have to face Nelson Cruz who had a 142 wRC+ against left-handed pitching. After he faces Matt Olson, Rodriguez will face Austin Riley who isn’t as good against left-handed pitching but still has a career 108 wRC+ against them.
Simply put, Rodriguez will come in to get that one batter, and then, he will face a batter who can absolutely obliterate him. This is a recipe for disaster, and it was one made for no other reason than the Mets compulsion to carry multiple left-handed relievers.
It’s an unforced error premeditated by an obsession over century old platoon thinking and not according to the numbers. In fact, Castro fares similarly well against left-handed batters as Rodriguez, but he is far, far superior against right-handed batters. Put another way, the Mets intentionally made themselves worse.
This just puts more onus on Jeremy Hefner to make good on this trade. Unfortunately, he is not going to get the full benefit of Spring Training to work with Rodriguez. Hopefully, the adjustments and tweaks won’t take that long. Otherwise, it is going to make Buck Showalter‘s life more difficult trying to find a way to get Rodriguez into games to be effective and not hurt the Mets.
Overall, this is a trade where the Mets better know something more than everyone. If not, this is nothing more than just getting a left-handed reliever for its own sake, which is something we shouldn’t be seeing teams do in 2022.