Rodger That! Your Career is Ready for Takeoff!
Chad Rodgers, a relief pitcher for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Atlanta High-A Affiliate) is having a career year. His season has gone so well that within the next two weeks, he hopes to receive a promotion to Double-A Mississippi. If not, he will be more than happy to finish the season with the Pelicans.
If Chad’s name rings a bell, that is because he is a native of Northeast Ohio. Chad was born in Akron, and was raised in Stow. He attended Walsh Jesuit High School and helped the Warrior baseball team to a state championship in his senior season. But, everything has not been peaches and cream since being drafted in the third round of the 2006 draft.
First, Chad had a nagging shoulder injury that cost him a lot of developmental time. Second, his father passed away midway through the 2009 season. That is a lot to overcome for a developing pitcher, as well as any individual.
“I missed the majority of the 2009 season because my father passed away,” Rodgers said. “My dad taught me plenty of life lessons and it meant so much that he was always there for me. He was the most influential person in my life.”
On his shoulder: “My shoulder is great!” Chad said. “I would like to thank Eric Cressey of Cressey Performance in Boston for helping me get over this injury (from a physical stand point). I spent the past off season up there training hard and preparing for the upcoming season. I am finally 100% healthy.”
Another adjustment Chad had to make was converting from a starting pitcher to a bullpen role. “That was probably the biggest adjustment that I have had to make so far in my career,” Rodgers said. “I had a routine as a starter, and now I had to make one as a reliever.”
“It helps that my strengths are throwing strikes, and being aggressive on the mound,” Chad said. “What I need to get better at is coming out of the bullpen. I needed to learn how to warm-up quickly, and I am still adjusting to my new routine.”
If Chad had decided not to sign with the Braves out of high school, he would have attended Kent State University on a baseball scholarship. “If I had not been playing ball, I would probably be finishing up school right about now,” said Rodgers. “I would be doing something that makes me happy.” Right now, baseball makes him happy.
Chad was happy he grew up in Northeast Ohio. “Northeast Ohio has affected me in a positive way. All of my family and friends are from this area and they all have had a positive influence on my life,” said Rodgers. “Baseball is very competitive up here, and attending Walsh Jesuit gave me a great education. I would not be at this level without that (Walsh education).”
Look for Chad’s name within the next few years to headline the always impressive Brave bullpen. Right now, his career is taking off.
Quick Stats (as of August 24th):
Photo Courtesy of CB Wilkins