Rod Barajas didn’t have a great week offensively. He only had one hit, but the one hit was a double, and he did score a run after that. Rod scored 3 runs this week, and he was still able to get on base with 2 walks and a hit-by-pitch (his fifth of the season and third within the past couple of weeks).
This week, Rod batted .063 with a .211 on-base percentage and 6 strikeouts.
Rod doesn’t let his offensive woes get him down, however. Catching is his priority, and pitchers such as AJ Burnett continue to emphasize the importance of their catcher and how comfortable they feel with him behind the plate. “It helps having Rod or McKenry back there,” Burnett said. ”It gives you confidence when you can go out there and throw that pitch and throw it wherever you want.” Joel Hanrahan threw a couple pitches in the dirt while closing last night’s game, and Rod kept the ball in front of him no matter what. Burnett mentioned that after the game as well and gave credit to Rod for keeping the ball in front of him.
Michael McKenry’s success can also be accredited to the mentoring relationship he has with Rod. When he had to catch Burnett for the first time, he worked more with Rod to prepare than he did with Burnett. We touched on this in our podcast this week too. Check it out!
Rod also continues to be a class act with the media and with the fans. I’ll obviously never forget the time he took to sign my shirt and let me get a picture with him. After going 0 for 3 on July 21, he took the time to throw a fan a ball anyway. Rod’s wife has been a welcome addition to twitter, and she mentions frequently her love for the Pirates and the city.
Rod is due for a better week this coming week, so hang on tight!