Dodgers pitcher Paco Rodriguez said he works on his mechanics every day. (John McCoy/Staff photographer)
The Dodgers added left-handed pitcher Onelki Garcia to their major-league roster Wednesday, in part to give southpaws Paco Rodriguez and J.P. Howell a breather out of the bullpen every now and then.
Coincidentally, Rodriguez and Garcia were practically inseparable in right field Wednesday afternoon while the Dodgers took batting practice. Rodriguez said he was showing Garcia the ropes, so to speak. More details of the conversation between the two 2012 draft picks will appear in tomorrow’s editions.
As for his own left arm, Rodriguez said it’s doing “great.” The numbers show otherwise: In his last five appearances, Rodriguez has faced 16 batters, allowed five hits and walked four (a .563 opponents’ OBP).
One theory for Rodriguez’s struggles is that he’s a victim of overuse. The 22-year-old is tied for the team lead in appearances (70) with Ronald Belisario. But his 51 innings pitched are less than the 88 ⅓ he pitched between college and the professional ranks — including the final 6 ⅔ for the Dodgers — in 66 games in 2012. He insists that the extra four appearances this year, not including an additional 12 spring-training games, haven’t caught up to him.
“My body’s been feeling fine, I’m just a little inconsistent,” Rodriguez said. “My mechanics could be wrong.”
Rodriguez has an unusual delivery — he pauses with the ball behind his head before whipping his arm around — which has been attributed to much of his success. Is it a problem now? That’s been a point of daily discussion with Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt.
“We just talk about it. … It’s just a matter of being consistent and bringing it every day,” Rodriguez said.
“At the end of the year everybody’s tired. It’s all about mindset, how you approach everything.”