By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network
Reynaldo Rodriguez will once again suit up for Colombia in the 2023 World Baseball Classic.
Rodriguez will replace Tito Polo on the roster for Colombia due to visa issues. A native of Cartagena, Colombia, Rodriguez was signed as an undrafted 19-year-old free agent by the New York Yankees in 2006 and spent several years in the minor leagues with the Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins before being suspended for 80 games for testing positive for Stanozolol, a performance-enhancement drug, during the 2016 season.
Rodriguez has spent the last seven seasons jumping around the Caribbean winter leagues and the Liga Mexicana De Beisbol, which runs at the same time as the Major League Baseball season.
Rodriguez played well in the Liga Professional De Beisbol Colombia for Vaqueros De Monteria, and prior with Aguilas de Mexicali in the LIga ARCO Mexicana del Pacifico in the 2022-23 season. He played in 57 games with Aguilas and had 241 plate appearances, recording 57 hits, four home runs and 25 RBI’s before heading to Colombia. Rodriguez played in 11 games and batted .455 for Vaqueros De Monteria during their playoffs before being joining Caneros De Los Mochis of Mexico’s Liga ARCO Mexicana Del Pacifico circuit for the Caribbean Series. Rodriguez played in eight games of the Caribbean Series, had 34 plate appearances with one home run and four RBI’s, and helped Mexico receive third place during the tournament.
Rodriguez played for Colombia during the 2017 World Baseball Classic, batting .143 in the tournament, recording two hits and striking out four times. Rodriguez can adjust to carrying over his mechanics during the Liga Mexicana De Beisbol 2022 regular season playing in 86 games with 355 plate appearances recording 108 hits, 19 home runs, and driving 71 RBI. Rodriguez’ bat could be a force for manager Jolbert Cabrera’s lineup during the course of pool play.
Colombia opens up the 2023 World Baseball Classic in Pool C against Mexico at Chase Field in Phoenix on March 11 at 2:30 p.m. EST on Fox.