Rodriquez hopes to stick with Bucs

The Pirates picked shortstop Josh Rodriguez of the Cleveland Indians in the Rule 5 draft. Pirates general manager Neal Huntington worked for the Indians when they acquired him.

"I was still lying in bed and apparently the draft happened at nine o'clock eastern time and I'm back in Houston and it's eight o'clock Central Time," Rodriguez recalled. "I got woken up to the good news and just hearing that you got taken in the Rule Five is definitely an honor. Not many guys get taken especially as position players."

The Pirates held a mini camp in early January and Rodriguez got to get acquainted with his new teammates and the coaching staff.

"It was very beneficial," Rodriguez opined. "Going into a new organization with new faces and a new staff and you want to get all that stuff out of the way before spring training so that you feel comfortable going in. So you won't feel like too much pressure is on you getting to know everything and basically getting to know the system."

Rodriguez, 26, hit for a .293/.372/.486 line in 317 at-bats in AAA this past year in the Cleveland farm system. He played most of his games at shortstop, and also played second base.

"There is no one spot that I'm really comfortable at," Rodriguez explained. "I'm just comfortable up the middle of the field. I've played quite a few positions. I've played all around the infield and some outfield, but I'm just looking to work on my defense making the routine plays, you can't put too much emphasis on making the spectacular plays, you've got to make the routine ones and let the spectacular ones happen."

Rodriguez probably won't supplant Ronny Cedeno at shortstop and is pegged by many scouts as a utility player.


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