He spent a portion of 2011 (43 games) in Portland after being called up from Salem where he led the Red Sox minor league organization in doubles. Upon returning he's been working with hitting coach Dave Joppie to improve on those numbers.
"He's starting to understand what the opposing pitchers are attacking him with. He's been making some good adjustments with his selectivity and discipline. He's been grinding into some at-bats and getting deep into counts. By batting like that he's allowing pitchers to make a mistake against him," Joppie said.
Rodriguez has the ability to give his team a spark whenever he steps on the field. He's got surprising speed compared to a lot of others at his position as well as amazing versatility.
"He's a guy that shows you some versatility in the lineup," manager Kevin Boles said. "He's a guy we move around at three or four and has batted down at six.
"Everyone concentrates on defense for versatility but you want to be a guy who's versatile throughout the lineup. He played third the other day in an emergency. He's a guy that you could also throw in the outfield if need be."
There is a sharp difference between single-A and Double-A and a lot of times that forces adjustments to be made.
"Early on guys are starting to feel things out," Boles said. "They come out of Spring Training they start to feel out the strike zone a little bit and getting used to the speed of the league."
Reynaldo has tried not to let the level he's at get to him, however. He has hit safely in eight of his last ten games and reached base in 17 straight.
When asked if there have been any mechanical adjustments to attribute to his hot streak, Rodriguez attests, "I haven't changed anything up, no. We come to the field and are going to do the best we can every day and we hope good things will happen."
Aside from just coming to the field every player on the Sea Dogs is working on getting better, including Rodriguez.
"He's a guy with an aggressive approach and he's done a good job of adjusting," Boles added. "He's been a guy you can hit and run with, a guy that can move guys over. He's shown the ability to do that no matter where we've put him, he's done a real solid job."
Touching on his brief time with the Dogs in years past, Rodriguez mentions that he hasn't changed much in his time with the organization.
"When I came from spring training I tried to do the same things I've been doing in 2010 and again in 2011," he said.
He has slowly been establishing himself as a threat in Portland, Joppie explains why.
"He's learning not to let a count or a situation dictate his effort level and his approach. He's also being a little bit more patient and selective at the plate. There were periods of time where he was a bit impatient and swinging early in the count, trying to do too much."
He's made a few (6) starts batting in the sixth but the majority starts have came at third or in the clean-up spot.
"Sometimes you're going to get a different pitch sequence especially in RBI situations. It's tough sometimes because you want to drive guys in but sometimes you get yourself out because you try to do too much," commented Joppie.
"Hitting in that four hole can be a catch-22, there are usually guys on base for you to drive in but sometimes you get yourself out."
Reynaldo has been enjoying his time back here in Portland and is getting more and more comfortable as the games press on.
"I feel like the same hitter. I feel real happy with our guys. I feel good because I am back playing with a lot of players from last year when before I was sent to high-A (Salem)."
First baseman Reynaldo Rodriguez is in his second year of duty with the AA Portland and stepping up in his role in the heart of the line-up. Through 26 games Rodriguez is leading the team in doubles (8) and runs scored (14), as well as being second in stolen bases (4). The majority of his at-bats come from the third and clean-up spots.
Rodriguez Brings Versatility To Lineup
Reynaldo Rodriguez isn't the most versatile defensive player but he brings a lot to the lineup.
Portland Beat Writer
Rodriguez has reached base safely in 17 straight
May 6, 2012