Eladio Rodriguez’s dream of playing for the New York Yankees and the Israel Baseball League’s dreams of validation have been jump-started back to life, as the hard-hitting catcher has again been moved up in the Yankees farm system, a step closer to Yankee Stadium.
A little more than a week ago, a perfect storm of injuries and Yankee player moves had the man they call “E-Rod” poised days away from being called up to The Big Show and The House That Ruth Built. But after playing a single game with the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Pennsylvania Yankees, more roster shuffles sent the 29-year-old packing to the Yankees’ Single A team in Staten Island.
But the Staten Island Baby Bombers don’t open their season until June and after kicking around, Eladio has been kicked up once again; this time across the bridge to New Jersey and to the Yankees’ Double A club, The Trenton Thunder.
Apparently, Eladio has been traveling and taking batting practice with the team for days now, but has only now been added to the roster.
Once again, he steps into a crowded clubhouse, as the third active catcher on the team.
The Man from Mao Valverde, Dominican Republic played in one game this season for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees (Triple-A). He went one for three at Buffalo on April 29th. This is his first professional action since 2003, when he hit .227 for Sarasota (High-A) in 57 games with two hone runs and 20 RBIs in the Boston Red Sox minor league system.
He was originally signed as a non-drafted free agent by the Red Sox on April 24, 1998—as a pitcher.
Though Eladio was last season's IBL batting champ and co-MVP, his minor league contract with the New York Yankees had been mocked as a publicity stunt to generate investment in the IBL. He played winter ball in his home country, but didn’t show up for his original call to spring training in Scranton, due to “visa problems.”