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Yerry Rodriguez

Rangers reliever Yerry Rodriguez stays in moment

Yerry Rodriguez credits grandfather for guiding his baseball journey

ARLINGTON -– During his adolescent years, Yerry Rodriguez spent his entire free time at his local Little League field. The trek to the ballpark wasn’t easy. His parents didn’t consider it safe for their child to walk alone to the field in Santiago, Dominican Republic. 

His parents worked hard to support their family, and they couldn’t find the time to take him to the field. So, Rodriguez’s grandfather Marcelino Antonio Rodriguez Garcia accompanied him. 

Marcelino was determined to help his grandson live his passion. Rodriguez and his grandfather built an unbreakable bond during their daily strolls to the field. The Texas Rangers’ rookie reliever’s abuelito witnessed most of Rodriguez’s practices and games. From Little League until he signed a minor-league contract with the Texas Rangers in 2015, Marcelino stayed by his side. 

Yerry Rodriguez credits abuelo Marcelino

When the 26-year-old right-hander played well, his grandfather praised his performance. When he had a forgettable day on the field, the elder Rodriguez often put his arm around him and lifted his spirit with words of encouragement. 

His grandfather’s wise advice is instilled in Rodriguez’s mind. As he tries to establish himself as a reliable arm for the Rangers’ bullpen, he finds hope in his ability. Rodriguez is grateful to his parents, but he says his grandfather made a greater impact throughout his baseball journey.

“Since I could remember, my grandfather would take me to go play,” he says. “He told me not to worry about what’s going on, and to always find the positive in things.” 

Rodriguez has had multiple promotions to major leagues since he made his debut on Oct. 5, 2022. He threw a scoreless inning in Texas’ final game that season. 

Round Rock-Arlington shuttle

He spent most of the following year in the minors. However, he pitched well enough to make the three-hour drive between Round Rock and Arlington a few times. A much better journey than what he endured as a child. 

Although he only allowed one home run, he found little success in the 13 appearances he made. Rodriguez finished the 2023 season with a 7.90 ERA, a 3.33 FIP and a 1.902 WHIP. 


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Rodriguez made the Opening Day roster for the first time in his career this year. Motivated to stay in the majors, he is trying not to think about what he has done in the past. He is giving himself a clean slate, just as his grandfather instructed him as a child. 

“My mentality this year is to leave the past behind me and keep moving forward,” Rodriguez said. “I always want to keep the positivity and discard the negativity.”

Aggressive nature

Due to his aggressive nature and his strong arm, Rodriguez’s coaches in the Dominican converted him solely to a pitch when he was 16. They liked the way he attacked hitters and didn’t shy away from throwing his fastball. He has carried his aggressive style through the minors and now the majors.

Yerry Rodriguez

Rodriguez is “here to compete,” Rangers veteran reliever Jose Leclerc said. “He throws hard and strikes and he is challenging hitters, not just giving in.

“He has great pitches and has a ton to show in the major leagues. I feel like he lacks maturity that one gains with experience, like we’ve done at one point. I feel he can be a great pitcher in the major leagues.” 

In spring training Rodriguez showed glimpses that he can contribute. He struck out 12 hitters over eight innings of work in the spring. Rodriguez has made five appearances so far this season for the Rangers, posting a 6.35 ERA over 5 2/3 innings. He has five strikeouts and a 1.765 WHIP for the World Series champions.

While the Rangers have had to overcome injuries to their veteran pitchers, Rodriguez has tried to take full advantage of his opportunities. No matter what happens when the Rangers are fully healthy, Rodriguez vows to deal with what he can control and anchor himself in positivity. 

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