Storm manager Edwin Rodriguez is in his second year with Lake Elsinore. Photo: Cherished Memories.

LAKE ELSINORE, Calif. — Edwin Rodriguez is in his second year as the manager of the Lake Elsinore Storm, his nineteenth in professional baseball, mostly with the Miami, then Florida Marlins, including 2011 when he managed the big club.

Edwin Rodriguez played for the Padres’ Triple-A affiliate Las Vegas Stars from 1985-1987. Photo: Padres 360.

Rodriguez does have a brief history as a player with the Padres, being part of a trade in 1983 that sent him and Dennis Rasmussen from the New York Yankees to San Diego for right-hander John Montefusco. He mainly played for the Padres’ old Triple-A team the Las Vegas Stars with players like John Kruk and Benito Santiago.

This year at the Diamond he had several of the team’s best prospects including Cuban pitchers Adrian Morejon and Michel Baez along with the recently promoted third baseman Hudson Potts among others.

We caught up with Edwin to talk about a few of the players he was working within 2018.

Hudson Potts is the organization’s top third base candidate. Photo: Cherished Memories.

MadFriars: Hudson Potts was just promoted to Double-A San Antonio.  What part of his game really impressed you here and what part would you like to see improve?

Edwin Rodriguez: I think his whole game was really impressive; both offensively and defensively.  Defensively, he could make the backhanders, slow rollers and turning double-plays.

Offensively, you could see him getting better and better as the season went on. He was turning on the 95 to 97 mile-per-hour fastball and had power to the opposite field. 

So right now it’s just a question of becoming more consistent?

Edwin Rodriguez:  Yes and he’s only 19 which is really young for this level.  He has been hitting around .280 for the whole season with power.  He can use the whole field and hit the ball out of any park here.  He is going to develop into a really good power hitter. 

The good hitters learn how to hit first and then the power develops.  Again, I also thought he was an excellent player defensively with a very good arm.  Nearly all of his errors were in the first couple weeks, after that, nothing.

Luis Torrens has played well this year with the Storm after sitting on the bench with the Padres in 2017. Photo Credit: Cherished Memories.

What part of Luis Torrens defensive game has improved behind the plate?

Edwin Rodriguez: I think calling games is his biggest improvement and handling the low pitches.  Like everyone he still needs to work on all aspects of his game, but he has improved.

He was working with some of the best arms in the league here with [Chris] Paddack, [Adrian] Morejon and [Michel] Baez in addition to catching some of our bullpen arms that can throw nearly 100 miles per hour.

Edwin Olivares was acquired by San Diego in the Yangervis Solarte trade. Photo: Cherished Memories.

What about Edward Oliveres.  I think he’s had a good year, but I thought he might be a little more after what I saw in Spring Training?

Edwin Rodriguez: His main goal is to just get stronger and then his abilities will take over his game. The ability is there on both sides of the ball.

Jorge Ona has been up and down.  Any reason why?

Edwin Rodriguez: He’s been battling injuries.  He was having problems at the beginning of the year with his back and then he started to hit really well, and then he got injured when he went after a fly ball in right field and the ball hit the pole and came back and hit his face.

So that set him behind a little too. He was out for about ten days but overall I like his swing and pitch recognition.  He just needs to get healthy.

What did you think of Adrian Morejon this year?

Edwin Rodriguez:  [laughs] He’s unreal. He’s around 95 to 97 with a knuckle-curve in addition to his other pitches. He can throw the knuckle-curve for a strike at any time in the count.

Adrian Morejon is one of the top prospects in the Padres’ organization. Photo: Cherished Memories.

The knuckle-curve comes straight down?  Also, I thought they took that away last year?

Edwin Rodriguez: It does and without the rotation.

With young pitchers, it’s a process.  They want them to command one or two pitches first, then expand.  The knuckle-curve was always good, but they wanted him to command the fastball and changeup first.

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Michel Baez had a bad back to begin the year, but he got healthy.  How has he been recently?

Edwin Rodriguez: He was hitting 98 without much effort.  So yes, he is back.  He is feeling more confident in letting the ball go.

How were his secondary pitches?

Edwin Rodriguez: He has a very good changeup.  The big thing with him is just his size which makes it hard for him to be consistent, but all the pitches are there.

Other Padres’ Minor League League Managerial Interviews

Triple-A El Paso: Rod Barajas

Double-A San Antonio: Phillip Wellman

Low-A Fort Wayne:  Anthony Contreras

Short-Season Tri-City: Mike McCoy

Posted by John Conniff

John grew up in Poway and has written for MadFriars since 2004. He has written articles for Baseball America, FoxSports San Diego, the El Paso Times, San Antonio Express-News, Amarillo Globe-News, Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette and Pacific Daily News in addition to appearing on numerous radio programs and podcasts. He can also break down the best places to eat for all five of the affiliates. There is no best place to eat in Peoria, Arizona.

One Comment

  1. […] the end of 2018, then Storm manager  Edwin Rodriguez praised his talent while predicting that once he got stronger you could see this type of performance. Olivares did just that and also […]

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