CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Joely Rodriguez learned the Pirates traded him to the Phillies in December while sitting in a bullpen in the Dominican Republic.
He thought somebody was playing a joke on him. But Rodriguez, whom the Phillies acquired for Antonio Bastardo, said he realized the trade was real when he received another phone call on his ride home that night.
"I'm happy to be in an organization that's giving me the opportunity to really show what I've got," Rodriguez said through translator Rickie Ricardo.
Rodriguez allowed one hit, one unearned run and walked one in three innings on Friday in a 2-1 victory over the Rays at Bright House Field. He has allowed two hits, one unearned run, two walks and has struck out one in seven scoreless innings this spring.
"My mission today was to get ahead in the count, attack the strike zone early so then I could work on my breaking pitches," Rodriguez said.
He is expected to open the season in the Triple-A Lehigh Valley rotation, but the Phillies certainly are hoping they get something from Rodriguez, whom MLB Pipeline ranks No. 26 in the organization's Top 30 Prospects list. He is a piece in their rebuilding plan.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.