ST. LOUIS -- As expected, the Dodgers on Friday recalled left-handed reliever Paco Rodriguez from Triple-A Albuquerque before their game against the Cardinals in St. Louis, the opener of a three-game road trip and a nine-game homestand.
With Paul Maholm either starting or in low-leverage relief situations, the Dodgers have really only had one southpaw in the bullpen, J.P. Howell, for the vast majority of the season, outside of a couple stints in April and May when Rodriguez was with the big club, allowing five runs on 10 hits in seven innings, with eight strikeouts and three walks in 10 appearances.
On the first two legs of this nine-game road trip, there are several left-handed regulars, especially with St. Louis. The Cardinals have Kolten Wong, Matt Carpenter, Matt Adams, and either Oscar Taveras or Jon Jay to contend with from the left side, while the Pirates have Ike Davis, Pedro Alvarez and Gregory Polanco.
Rodriguez was one of the most trusted members of Don Mattingly's bullpen in 2013, appearing in 76 games in his rookie campaign. He put up a 2.32 ERA with 63 strikeouts and 19 walks in 54⅓ innings, but a fade in September and October left Rodriguez off the Dodgers' roster for the NLCS against these Cardinals.
After allowing two home runs in his first 201 career batters faced through August 2013, Rodriguez allowed four home runs in 41 batters faced in September and October.
With the Isotopes this season Rodriguez, 23, has a 4.56 ERA in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League but also has allowed just two home runs, with 34 strikeouts and 14 walks in 25⅔ innings.