In 2012, the Cardinals assigned Rodriguez to their Florida State League club, located in Jupiter, but named after Palm Beach. Not only did the manager get to keep some of his 2011 players, he has the opportunity on off days to travel home to the Tampa area and see one of his sons, Sean, play Major League Baseball as an infielder for the Rays.
Not all of Rodriguez' 2011 Quad Cities stars are in Florida this season, however. Leaders like Oscar Taveras and Trevor Rosenthal jumped the level and are with Double-A Springfield. Further, Rodriguez is pulling for more of his players to earn that next promotion. Such is the nature of the job.
Despite a difficult loss on Wednesday night, a game Rodriguez believes his club should have won, the Palm Beach club is playing good ball right now. They came back Thursday afternoon with a strong performance, winning their sixth in their last seven contests while raising their record to 13-14. The Cardinals have won each of their last three series.
In the following interview, Rodriguez talks about 2011, his 2012 team, his managing approach, as well as a number of his players, including one top prospect who will be seeing time at other positions.
Check back in the upcoming days for full rosters, more news, interviews, photos and much more from Jupiter, Florida.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.
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