Bargain Bin: Wandy Rodriguez, LHP, Houston

This one goes out to all you baseball card nuts migrating from Mario’s Wax Heaven: What other name did Houston Astro’s pitcher and bargain bin wonder Wandy Rodriguez go by before reaching the major leagues?

Hint: It appeared on his 2003 Bowman Chrome cards…

If you answered Eny Cabreja, you're right.

Whatever name he goes by, Rodriguez (or Cabreja) is usually a steal off the waiver wire. As someone who has owned him for the past three years in some capacity, I can attest to his consistency and impact on fantasy teams. However, like most dudes that can be found on the waiver wire at various points of the season, there’s a catch.

Wandy can’t pitch away from Minute Maid Park. Like Ervin Santana of previous years though, Wandy is a safe and sometimes superb play when he’s pitching at home.

Check these career stats out:

  • .550 W-L percentage at home. .405 W-L on the road.
  • 4.12 ERA at home. 5.51 on the road.
  • 321 IP at home. 263 on the road.
  • 1.329 WHIP at home (shudder). 1.517 WHIP on the road (bigger shudder).
  • 7.1 K/9 at home. 7.3 K/9 on the road.             

Rodriguez has shown signs of becoming more than a spot starter in fantasy leagues though. Last year, Wandy evened out his home/road splits and became a more consistent pitcher, albeit through fewer starts. His road W-L percentage went from .231 in 2007 to .667 in 2008. His road ERA went from 6.37 to 4.34 during that same time frame. His road K/9 went from 7.2 to 7.9. Across the board, every stat improved, while his home splits stayed consistent.

Yeah, I will definitely be checking Wandy Rodriguez out once again this year. If recent trends continue, he’ll be a great value pick off the wire. Until he proves those trends however, use him wisely and avoid road starts.

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