The Bridgeport Bluefish announced the signings of infielders Luis Rodríguez and Luis Hernández on Wednesday. Each player brings a wealth of major league experience to the Park City, and each bats from both sides of the plate.
Last season, Rodriguez (no relation to Bluefish manager also named Luis Rodriguez) appeared in 59 games for the Bluefish, hitting .305 with 19 RBIs and 21 runs scored before his contract was purchased by Oaxaca of the Mexican League (roughly equal to AAA level competition) in July. There, he hit.341 with three home runs, 16 RBIs and 20 runs scored in 35 games. During the off-season, he played 58 regular season games with Magallanes of the Venezuelan Winter League, where his .318 batting average helped lead his team to the championship series.
The 35-year-old switch-hitting second baseman will be embarking on his 19th season of professional baseball that includes seven big league seasons with Minnesota, San Diego and Seattle. Overall, the San Carlos, Venezuela native owns a .238 batting average, with 100 runs scored, 80 RBIs and 60 extra base hits in 407 MLB games. Originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Twins organization, Rodriguez’s career stat line in organized minor league ball reads like this: a 278 batting average with 64 home runs, 241 doubles, 526 RBI and 621 runs scored in 1,265 MiLB games.
This will be the first season in the Atlantic League for Hernandez, who has spent 14 seasons overall in professional baseball. Also a switch-hitter, the 31-year-old Hernández comes to Bridgeport for his first season in the Atlantic League and 14th season overall in professional baseball. Last year, the 31-year-old switch-hitting shortstop played 67 games with Wichita of the independent American Association, where he hit .255, scored 24 runs and drove in 37 before is contract was purchased by the Los Angeles Angels organization, after which he played four games with AAA Salt Lake of the Pacific Coast League. After being signed as an undrafted free agent by the Atlanta Braves organization in 2002, Hernández made his major league debut with the Baltimore Orioles in 2007, where he spent two campaigns before being traded to the Kansas City Royals in 2009. The following season, he joined the New York Mets, and made a brief appearance with the Texas Rangers in 2012. Overall, in 122 career big league games, Hernández owns a .243 batting average with three home runs, 20 RBIs, and 22 runs scored. In 1,211 career minor league games, he has hit .253 with 33 home runs, 451 RBIs, 488 runs scored, and 72 stolen bases.
Adding two switch-hitting infielders, with a wealth of experience in the minor and major leagues, will certainly go a long way in giving Bridgeport manager Luis Rodriguez the kind of versatility he is looking for in his first year at the helm of the ’Fish.
“It’s great to have two guys with such extensive big league experience as anchors in our infield this season,” said L-Rod. “Rodríguez was a tremendous asset to our last year, being solid both at the plate and in the field. Hernández has put up some great numbers in his career as well, so we’re excited to have them both in our clubhouse.”