Giants

Giants

There's good news -- and even better news.

For starters, the weather appears to be warming up in Arizona after an extremely weird case of frigid temperatures. In better news, Derek Rodriguez's arm feels great.

And even more than the arm confidence, there appears to be a slight uptick in his velocity.

During his outing on Sunday against the Rockies, Rodriguez was back at Salt River Fields, the place where he first made a name for himself in the Giants organization at this time last season.

"I feel like that's where I really got put on the map last year," Rodriguez told MLB.com's Owen Perkins. "It was after that start here."

"So coming back here, it's a little different during the day, and a different team. But it was fun."

The team he was going up against was a close, possible Opening Day roster for the Rockies that included Nolan Arenado, Charlie Blackmon, and Trevor Story. 

No pressure.

“They had their dudes in there,” Rodriguez said. “I like going out there and seeing their guys. Seeing Charlie [Blackmon] leading off and Nolan [Arenado] and [Trevor] Story and all those guys, knowing that we’re going to see them a bunch during the year. Just going out there and then seeing them in the lineup gives you that little bit of competition. You just want to go out there and do good.”

 

Perkins noted the radar gun during D-Rod's outing clocked him at 94, which is slightly ahead of where he was consistently in 2018.

Last season, his four-seam fastball had a velocity measured at an average 92.1 mph, according to FanGraphs.  

“I feel like I got the arm speed,” the 26-year-old said. “The arm feels great. As camp keeps going, I know I’m going to just keep getting stronger.”

Rodriguez had a very unique stat that was part of his 2018 campaign when he boasted a 3.9 percent barrel rate. If you're unsure what a barrel rate is (I had to research it myself) I wrote about it back in December.

[RELATED: Watch Rodriguez push car as part of his workout]

It's pretty cool.

Regardless, he's more than on his way to having a successful sophomore season with the Giants, and we are all here for it.