PHILADELPHIA — There was an embarrassing loss. An inept offense. Rumblings about the shuffling roster.
Was it an Aug. 1 loss or a May 1 loss?
After the Giants’ 10-2 destruction by the Phillies on Thursday, Dereck Rodriguez vented some frustration about his seat permanently on the shuttle between the Giants and Triple-A Sacramento. He was not very good — and the defense behind him was worse, with a Brandon Crawford error and Brandon Belt missed pop-up resulting in a second inning that didn’t seem to end — but regardless of how he pitched, he likely was not going to be with the team in Colorado.
“You can’t think of that stuff, but it’s always in the back of your mind. It’s hard to not think about it,” Rodriguez said after allowing seven runs (four earned) in three innings at Citizens Bank Park. “I had a good outing last time, and they still sent me down.”
The Giants have constructed a team constantly in flux. Gone are Sam Dyson, Mark Melancon and Drew Pomeranz, relievers without options. Only Will Smith, Tony Watson and Trevor Gott are major league secure. The rest can be juggled so the Giants have a ready-made arsenal of fresh arms.
It extends to the rotation, too, which has featured rookies Tyler Beede and Shaun Anderson, who can be optioned. Rodriguez and Conner Menez are in the mix as pieces who can flip-flop from Sacramento to San Francisco whenever needed.
When a reporter pointed out that in a way, a demotion seems less personal, it wasn’t consolation for Rodriguez.
“It still bothers you though,” said 27-year-old, who’s had a rough sophomore season. “It kind of sucks, regardless of what you do out there, they still have a plan, they have their mind made up. That’s just part of the game.”
It’s the price Farhan Zaidi pays for a Triple-A team that serves as a de facto second bullpen. More players get called up, like Sam Selman, and have the best days of their lives. And more players get sent down unceremoniously, without a chance to feel as if they belong.
“It would be nice to stay up here, get a good rhythm going, get a good routine,” said Rodriguez, whose ERA swelled to 5.32. “Get back to the way things should be.”