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Dereck Rodríguez optioned, Erik Kratz reactivated

In a surprising turn of events, last year’s rookie sensation gets optioned back to AAA after a string of tough losses.

MLB: New York Yankees at San Francisco Giants Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

In a somewhat surprising turn of events, Dereck Rodríguez was optioned to AAA Sacramento today, with Erik Kratz reactivated from the Injury List as the corresponding move.

Rodríguez was the feel-good story of the 2018 season, a rookie sensation who helped center a chaotic rotation and earned votes in the Rookie of the Year ballot. So I say “somewhat surprising” because if you look at his last few starts, it isn’t quite unexpected.

Although all four runs in his start last night were unearned, Rodríguez allowed 12 earned runs in his previous two starts and is up to a 5.05 ERA and 5.93 FIP. His appearances have been shorter, his walks have gone up and his strikeouts down. And he has already allowed the same amount of home runs in 41 innings pitched as he did in all of 2018.

Rodríguez himself wasn’t surprised by the news. He knows that his command has been missing in his last few starts, and had a good attitude about the situation, according to Alex Pavlovic, saying that he’d take it as a challenge, “I’ll go down there, keep my head up, and throw strikes.”

It would seem that the moves are not quite done. Despite Buster Posey being on the concussion Injury List, the Giants don’t really have a need to carry three catchers, so we will likely see a move there soon. The Giants also don’t have an urgent need to make a move for a starting pitcher, with Tyler Beede still on the active roster, he would presumably get Rodríguez’ next start.

That might not be the case, though. As Doug pointed out earlier today (and likely sealed his fate by doing so), Rodríguez is hardly the only Giants starting pitcher to be struggling this year, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see more shuffling soon.