In something that comes as an unfortunate bolt from the blue in an otherwise copacetic October for the Braves, it was recently announced that recently-acquired left-hander Paco Rodriguez just underwent Tommy John Surgery and will miss the entirety of the 2016 season.
#Braves LH reliever Paco Rodriguez underwent Tommy John surgery. He will likely miss all of the 2016 season.— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) October 2, 2015
Rodriguez was part of the hackles-rising trade that sent Alex Wood and Jose Peraza to the Dodgers in exchange for Olivera. While Rodriguez had been shelved with elbow issues for much of this season, pitching just 15 innings across the majors and minors, this comes as somewhat unexpected news.
The Braves will now need to dig deeper into their roster and resources to fill out a bullpen for 2016 and beyond, and are now even more reliant on effective recoveries from the same commonplace affliction from Shae Simmons and Chris Withrow. Here's hoping Paco Rodriguez has a successful recovery and is able to help the Braves in 2017. The Braves will control him through 2019, so while he now loses a relatively cheap year of service time to injury, he'll still be around at a discounted rate assuming he can effectively recover.
Rodriguez was a second-round pick of the Dodgers in 2012, and was an effective workhorse in 2013 for them. He spent 2014 yo-yoing between the Dodgers and the minors. He has a solid 2.53 ERA / 2.98 FIP / 3.00 xFIP / 2.82 SIERA as a major leaguer, and has brutalized lefties, striking out over 35% of all lefties he's faced in his career and allowing just a 1.94 FIP and .246 OBP to them.