Jefry Rodriguez

The role of Jefry Rodriguez in 2020

With the starting rotation appearing pretty much set, what role will Jefry Rodriguez play for the Cleveland Indians in 2020?

Jefry Rodriguez came up to Cleveland and helped out the Indians when they desperately needed pitching help. The Tribe were without Corey Kluber and Mike Clevinger and just needed innings. A leukemia diagnosis put Carlos Carrasco’s season on hold. This was another spot in the rotation need of help. Rodriguez was able to help the Indians weather the storm temporarily as they tried to stay competitive in a difficult situation. The contributions from Rodriguez were cut short as he also landed on the injured list due to injury.

Rodriguez allowed three runs or less through his first four starts. The following three starts were not great. Rodriguez allowed four runs twice followed by a six run outing. Jefry Rodriguez only made one more start before his injury. Rodriguez did return in late September as a bullpen arm, allowing one run in three total innings of work.

What role Jefry Rodriguez will play in 2020 is unknown at this point. Rodriguez is on the 40-man roster, but there are some better pitchers currently in the rotation. Shane Bieber and Mike Clevinger lead the Indians rotation. Carlos Carrasco could also make a return to the rotation after being deployed in a bullpen role later in the year. Aaron Civale pitched well in his starts last year and could have earned a rotation spot. That leaves two spots in the rotation for four different pitchers. Jefry Rodriguez, Adam Plutko, Zach Plesac, and Logan Allen.

Bullpen arm?

This is an option that should be explored, Jefry Rodriguez could bolster Cleveland’s bullpen. There are a few lockdown relievers, but still some question marks. Brad Hand, James Karinchak, Nick Wittgren, and possibly Emmanuel Clase appear to be locks for the Indians bullpen. (That is barring Cleveland playing any games with Karinchak and Claase, opting to keep them in Columbus to start the year). There are some questions surrounding Adam Cimber, Oliver Perez, and Hunter Wood. Cleveland might want to consider Rodriguez as another relief arm to bolster their bullpen.

What about Columbus?

The final possibility is that Rodriguez spend some time in Columbus. This depends on whether he is viewed as a starter or reliever. An extended stay in Columbus could allow Jefry Rodriguez to acclimate to the role that is best suited to him. It all really depends on how the Indians feel about their starting rotation and bullpen arms at the MLB level. Any feeling of uncertainty when it comes to other pitchers on the roster could lead to Jefry Rodriguez getting a chance with the Indians at the Major League level.


Barring an injury, unexpected trade, or massive uptick in performance while in Arizona, Jefry Rodriguez seems destined to start with Columbus in 2020. Cleveland could definitely use him as an option as a spot starter during the year when/if an injury occurs or in a doubleheader scenario. There just seems to be better options available to the Indians at this time.

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