For the second time this offseason, a Pittsburgh Pirates’ player will miss next season as catcher Endy Rodríguez underwent surgery on his right elbow.
The Pirates announced that the promising young backstop had reconstructive surgery on the right UCL and a repair of the flexor tendon. He is expected to return to baseball activity in 10 to 12 months, and as a result, will miss the 2024 season.
The injury occurred on Nov. 13 during an at-bat while swinging in a winter ball game in the Dominican Republic. After multiple examinations, surgery was deemed necessary. Rodríguez’s surgery was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles on Tuesday.
Rodríguez made his major league debut with the Pirates last season after he emerged as one of the team’s top prospects entering the season. In 57 games, Rodríguez slashed .220/.284/.328 with seven doubles, two triples, three home runs and 13 RBIs.
The 23-year-old impressed with his defensive abilities during his debut season as a major leaguer. Rodríguez caught 30% of attempted base stealers and posted three defensive runs saved. He committed a lone error and carried a .998 fielding percentage while behind the plate.
At the beginning of December, the Pirates agreed to a major league contract with Ali Sánchez, who will give Pittsburgh insurance in Rodríguez’s absence alongside Henry Davis and Jason Delay.
None of the three options currently on the Pirates’ 40-man roster have experience as the primary catcher at the big league level. Delay has the most innings logged behind the plate in the big leagues with 920.2. Sánchez (41 innigs) and Davis (two innings) have hardly any experience as catchers in the majors.
The news comes after right-handed starter Johan Oviedo underwent Tommy John surgery, a procedure that will leave the Pirates without his services next season.
The Pirates have big voids to fill in both Oviedo and Endy Rodríguez.