Brewers: Should Ronny Rodriguez make the team?
By John Schnabl
Recently acquired utility man Ronny Rodriguez has two minor league options remaining on his current contract, so most people think he will start the season in Triple-A. The Brewers need to strongly consider him for the active roster.
Ronny Rodriguez has played six positions in 146 major league games over a two seasons. Almost all of his experience is as an infielder where he spent significant time at all four of the infield positions. Most of his games were played at second base and shortstop but he did play almost 20 games at third and over 20 games at first. In addition to his infield work, he also played two games in the outfield. While he isn’t known as a defensive specialist, there is no question he is versatile and we know how much the Brewers value position versatility.
Plus, the Brewers do have some question marks in the infield. Keston Huira had some issues playing second last year. Orlando Arcia‘s future with the team is a question mark. Luis Urias is a highly touted prospect who has yet to put it together at the major league level. There are also current vacancies at the first and third base.
Hitting is a work in progress
There is no question that his hitting is a work in progress. In his 146 games played, he has 467 at-bats and has hit .221 with 19 homers and 63 RBI’s. While his statline isn’t great, it seems that he does have some pop in his bat that should play well in a hitters’ park like Miller Park.
Rodriguez’s stats last season were very similar to a former Brewers super utility guy Hernan Perez. Last year Perez hit .228 with an on-base percentage of .262 with eight homers in 232 at-bats, while Rodriguez hit .221 with an OBP of .252 and 14 home runs in 276 at-bats. Rodriguez is also known to be popular in the clubhouse which important for what seems to be a close-knit team.
As indicated above, the Brewers value players that can play multiple positions, and they also value guys who can hit for power and are good in the clubhouse. Rodriguez seems to check all three of those boxes. While we don’t know who else the Brewers will sign between now and the beginning of the season, based on what we know about Rodriguez, the Brewers should seriously consider him for the active roster at the end of Spring Training.