The Phillies drafted Rodriguez as an amateur free agent after the 2000 season and he never came close to achieving what the Phillies had hoped for. With a $700,000 signing bonus added to his bank account, Rodriguez stumbled through four minor league seasons with almost constant discipline problems. This past week, they came to a head; after not running out a ground ball, Rodriguez was pulled from the game and threw a tantrum in the dugout. With a suspension coming his way, he informed the Phillies that he was "tired of baseball" and was retiring. Assistant GM Mike Arbuckle left the door open for Rodriguez to return, but pointed out that "he's in his fifth minor league season and still in A-Ball. Needless to say, we're disappointed."
If the Phillies do welcome Rodriguez back, it would be a huge mistake. Sure, there's money and time invested in him, but rather have someone who wants to follow the rules and can be a true prospect take his place.
Philadelphia: Jim Thome hit his first homerun of the season Thursday in his 54th at bat of the year. It was the longest stretch that Thome had ever suffered through without a homerun at the start of a season. Thome has been bothered by a stiff back (he was out of the lineup Friday night) and is admittedly still dealing with the loss of his Mother during the offseason.
Meanwhile, Jimmy Rollins took the collar in Friday night's game, snapping his eight game hitting streak. Rollins hit .333 (12-for-36) during the streak. Kenny Lofton also lost a six game streak when he went 0-for-1 as a pinch-hitter.
Brett Myers gave up a third inning homerun to Marcus Giles Friday night. It was just the second homerun that Myers allowed this season and he went a streak of 19 2/3 innings without allowing a homerun. The other homerun was to Brad Wilkerson in the second game of the season.
Scranton: With a rain out and an off-day, the Red Barons had back-to-back days off this week. They returned to action Friday night and beat Syracuse 5-2. The win puts Scranton 0.5 games behind Ottawa in the North Division. Ottawa was rained out in their game at Rochester Friday night. Ryan Howard and Danny Sandoval each went 2-for3 for Scranton.
Speaking of Howard, he is now hitting .391 this season and has at least one hit in 12 of the Red Barons' 14 games. He's on a current streak of hitting in 12 of 13 games at a .409 (18-for-44) pace. He went hitless Monday in Syracuse to snap a ten-game hitting streak. Howard is also working on his plate discipline and has walked 2 times, while striking out 15 times this season.
Reading: The R-Phils could have just left their bats in the dugout Thursday night. Pitcher Chris Rojas was the only player to get a hit for Reading. Rojas was 0-for-2 coming into the game and went 1-for-2 to keep the R-Phils from being no-hit against three Norwich pitchers. Rojas also threw eight innings, allowing just four hits and one earned run, while striking out seven. Because of the lack of offense, Rojas' record fell to 0-3 on the season. In his three losses, Rojas has gotten just two runs and 14 hits from his offense. On Friday night, the Reading offense came up with nine hits and seven runs, but lost to Norwich 9-7.
Jayson Drobiak has struggled of late, dropping his average 83 points in just a short time. Still, Drobiak leads Lakewood in RBI.
(photo by Patrick Teale)
Jayson Drobiak is hitting just .207 this season, but his hits are coming at the right time. He's driven in a team high nine runs for Lakewood. Drobiak is currently in the throws of a 3-for-27 (.111) slump that has dropped his average from .290 going into the slide. Drobiak has managed to pick up three RBI during the slow period.