¡Hola Paco! ¿Qué tal, Como estas?

If you remember that line from your junior high school Spanish class, you are old. But if you remember it from Dodger Stadium, you probably heard it in jest regarding arguably the best Dodger pitcher to come along since Clayton Kershaw.

I am, of course, speaking of Dodger left-handed reliever Steven “Paco” Rodriguez, the first player drafted in 2012 to make it to the Big leagues; and barring the unforeseen, Rodriguez is most likely here to stay.

Why, you ask?

Well, since making his major league debut with the Dodgers on September 9, 2012, the Miami native (who will turn 22 years old on April 16th) has been nothing short of outstanding. In his 11 appearances in September and October of 2012, Paco allowed 1 run, 1 hit, 4 walks and 6 strikeouts in a total of 6.2 innings for an excellent ERA of 1.35.

Paco's unorthodox delivery is very deceiving for hitters. In his second MLB appearance on September 11, 2012, he stuck out Arizona Diamondbacks power hitting left fielder Jason Kubel on three pitches. (Photo credit - Ron Cervenka)

Paco’s unorthodox delivery is very deceiving for hitters. In his second MLB appearance on September 11, 2012, he stuck out Arizona Diamondbacks power hitting left fielder Jason Kubel on three pitches.
(Photo credit – Ron Cervenka)

And if you think those numbers are impressive, Rodriguez has already appeared in 3 of the 5 games that the Dodgers have played thus far in 2013 and has retired all five batters he has faced – including Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez, who he struck out on three pitches on Friday night and on six pitches on Saturday night.

Paco has retired all five batters he has faced thus far in the 2013 season. (Photo credit - Jon SooHoo).

Paco has retired all five batters he has faced thus far in the 2013 season.
(Photo credit – Jon SooHoo).

But don’t be fooled into thinking that Mattingly plans to use Rodriguez exclusively as a LOOGY (Left-handed One Out Guy), Paco pitched as much as two full innings of relief last season. However, unlike last season, the Dodgers now have former starter-turned-reliever Chris Capuano in the bullpen and he would most likely be the long reliever over Rodriguez – unless, of course, Capuano is traded.

There are some who believe that Paco will be sent back down to the minor leagues when left-hander Scott Elbert is eventually healthy enough to return to the Dodger bullpen after undergoing not one but two elbow surgeries this past off-season. But to be quite honest, unless Rodriguez suddenly falters, there is no reason in the world to believe that the lefty with the unorthodox delivery is going anywhere, even if Elbert manages to work his way back.

Rodriguez greeted fans entering the Left Field Pavilion on Saturday afternoon - including yours truly.

Paco greeted fans entering the Left Field Pavilion on Saturday afternoon prior to the game – including yours truly.

In the meantime, just sit back and enjoy watching Paco Rodriguez continue to confuse opposing batters while racking up the strikeouts.

¡Muchos gracias, Paco!

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5 Responses to “¡Hola Paco! ¿Qué tal, Como estas?”

  1. CRANBROOK MIKE says:

    I was going to say, since when did you speak Spanish? Lol. Looks like I missed another beauty last night. I’ll have to do something about this working on game night interference thing! It really is a problem. Hurry up and win that $200 mill 53!

    • Ron Cervenka says:

      “Hurry up and win that $200 mill 53!”

      I keep forgetting to buy that PowerBall ticket.

      You indeed missed a great one, CBM; Kershaw was (once again) absolutely dominating with 0 runs / 2 hits / 9 Ks. His value did drop somewhat, however, as he walked his first batter in 16.2 innings and he did NOT hit a home run (although he is still tied for the team lead in that category). By the way: Going back to the final regular season game of last year, Kershaw hasn’t allowed an earned run in 20 innings, including 16 innings this season. Don’t know how much sick time you have in the bank, but you don’t look too good – you might have that “every 5th day flu” that’s been going around, if you get my drift. :lol:

      Regardless, keep a close eye on Paco Rodriguez – he’s a good one.

  2. Bluenose Dodger says:

    Logan and staff knew what they were doing in drafting Paco in the second round last year. I liked that pick as soon as I learned he could be on a fast track to the Dodgers.

    I actually didn’t realize he has not turned 22 yet. Great poise and confidence. You are right – Scott Elbert, who I also like as a Dodger – will have a battle to get back on the active roster. The argument is that moves shouldn’t be made when things are going well. Unless Paco tanks, it would not be wise to send him to AAA.

    I also don’t think he will a LOOGY for quite some time. I think Mattingly is looking at all the possibilities for him.

  3. Evan Bladh says:

    Paco’s the real deal and his control is what sets him apart from most relievers. I’m glad that management saw fit to put him on the major league roster and not be influenced by Major League service time issues. The easy choice would have been to send him to the minors and keep a guy like Kevin Gregg. Of course, being a left hander helped his cause tremendously and had Elbert been healthy, Paco probably would be an Isotope right now.

  4. OldBrooklynFan says:

    So far so good with Paco and the rest of the bullpen.
    In fact the whole pitching staff has been doing just fine putting the team over .500. It just need some moe run support.

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