Go to any local little league or high school baseball game and you're bound to hear the too-loud-dad who thinks he should be the coach. For Dereck Rodriguez though, it's all ears when dad has something to say about the game.
Before every one of his starts for the Giants, Dereck and his Hall of Fame catcher father, Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez, go over a game plan.
"I talk to him every time before he pitches," Ivan Rodriguez said Friday morning on KNBR, hours prior to Dereck toeing the rubber against the Cardinals. "We talk for five or ten minutes."
Over his 21-year career, Ivan Rodriguez caught 2,427 games, good for 20,348 innings. Winning 13 Gold Gloves, he knows everything you can as a catcher and his formula for his son to have success on the mound is far from complicated.
"I tell him to be simple," Ivan says. "Don't try to do too much. I tell him a best friend for a starting pitcher is throwing strike one. Just get ahead in the count and don't be too complicated."
As a rookie, Dereck would already be Ivan's ideal pitcher with the way he pounds the zone. In seven appearances for the Giants this season, he has issued just nine walks in 37 innings, averaging 2.2 per nine innings.
"That's one of the best things that Dereck do. He averages fifty five to sixty five strikes per start. When you do that, you're gonna get a lot of guys out," Ivan said.
While Dereck is still learning the ins and outs as a 26-year-old who was originally an outfielder, he seems to have taken to his father's advice. Heading into his start Friday night at AT&T Park, Dereck is 3-1 with a 3.16 ERA.