Small change big for Rodriguez
Astros left-hander moves glove position during last start
HOUSTON -- Wandy Rodriguez made a small change to his pitching approach before Tuesday's game against the Reds.
But both he and Astros manager Cecil Cooper noticed a big difference.
The left-handed Rodriguez held his glove in front of his face before each pitch, contrary to other starts, when he held it at his waist.
"I knew after the last game, when I had a lot of walks, I said, 'Hey, I need to change something. I've got something bad.' And now, I feel more comfortable."
Rodriguez made the change while warming up in the bullpen, but Cooper said the staff had been working on changing his approach for a while.
"There were times when [his glove] would be up and times when it would be down," Cooper said. "I'm glad he's going to do it one way all the time. There were some guys that picked it up -- some of the veteran players saw it -- and he's been trying to make the adjustment."
Cooper said it isn't an easy task, because the pitcher has to change his motion. He must alter how he gets set and where he starts his pitch. The manager said some pitchers believe the batter can pick up on what pitch is coming when the glove is held low.
"I find it hard to believe that a batter can see that, figure it out and get ready to swing in a second," Cooper said. "But maybe sometimes guys can."
Whatever the reason, Rodriguez was on point in the 2-1 loss to the Reds.
He gave up one run on three hits over seven innings while recording a career-high 10 strikeouts.
"Every pitch I threw today, I threw my breaking ball better than last time, and my changeup and fastball had better location," he said on Tuesday night. "I feel very, very comfortable."
Krysten Oliphant is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.