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Inbox: Will Rodriguez win NL Rookie of Year?

Beat reporter Chris Haft fields questions from Giants fans
MLB.com @sfgiantsbeat

Can Dereck Rodriguez win the National League Rookie of the Year Award?
-- Joaquin M., Clovis, Calif.

Obviously, if Rodriguez continues to perform at his current pace, he'll draw increasing attention. He tops NL rookie starting pitchers in ERA and ranks among the leaders in wins and opponents' batting average. Being the son of Hall of Fame catcher Ivan Rodriguez will help his image.

Can Dereck Rodriguez win the National League Rookie of the Year Award?
-- Joaquin M., Clovis, Calif.

Obviously, if Rodriguez continues to perform at his current pace, he'll draw increasing attention. He tops NL rookie starting pitchers in ERA and ranks among the leaders in wins and opponents' batting average. Being the son of Hall of Fame catcher Ivan Rodriguez will help his image.

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Rodriguez will face a challenge in the race, since voters tend to favor everyday players. One potential front-runner is Washington outfielder Juan Soto, who has compiled an impressive slash line (.311/.422/.546). However, Soto has appeared in only slightly more than half of the Nationals' games. San Diego's Christian Villanueva has power but lacks consistency (.229 batting average, .285 on-base percentage). Miami's Brian Anderson and Cincinnati's Jesse Winker also can expect to receive support.

In May, the Giants had the NL's worst ERA, 5.39. In June, they owned the league's best ERA, 2.73. Why mess with a good thing by inserting Jeff Samardzija (6.25 ERA) into the starting rotation?
-- Dennis C., Durham, N.C.

It's an age-old phenomenon in professional sports. If a highly paid player is underperforming, he'll continue to receive opportunities because club management wants him to improve and to justify his salary, and they hope he can string together a few good games, be included in a trade and justify his salary.

Looks like dropping Kelby Tomlinson wasn't a smart idea by the Giants. They weren't doing so well without him. It looks obvious to me that they really could use him back on the team. Wouldn't you agree? Plus, for what they're paying him, it's a bargain!
-- Kevin C., Ewa Beach, Hawaii

I think that Tomlinson has been more of an asset this year than in any of his three previous seasons with the Giants. He's handy and valuable enough to have earned three recalls from Triple-A. Moreover, he seems to have become a more balanced player, gaining confidence in spots and situations that once challenged him.

Video: OAK@SF: Tomlinson tracks down fly ball in center

Tomlinson's impact has been something short of transcendent, however. The Giants are 11-15 when he starts and 21-29 when he plays.

Because of the Giants' current financial state, any trades at this year's Deadline will have to be creative. What are the odds they pair a player like Sam Dyson with a prospect or two to acquire needed pieces? How about Dyson, Aramis Garcia and a low-level prospect to the Marlins for Kyle Barraclough and Dan Straily? The Giants would open up a spot for Joey Bart, and the Marlins would feel a lot safer about dealing J.T. Realmuto for higher-level prospects.
-- Nick W., Reno, Nev.

The basis of your thinking is sound. Because of their commitment to keeping the payroll below the projected Competitive Balance Tax threshold, the Giants will indeed have to crunch a lot of numbers to make a deal happen. But if they do, I don't see Dyson as the centerpiece of this kind of trade. He's skilled and versatile, but he's not an Andrew Miller or a Brad Hand -- that is, a potentially huge difference-maker. Barraclough certainly is, and the Giants would have to part with a lot more to get him, not to mention Straily also. Finally, as for "opening up" a spot for Bart, the Giants need not concern themselves with that. If he proves to be as good as everybody thinks he is, he'll open up a spot for himself.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

San Francisco Giants, Dereck Rodriguez, Kelby Tomlinson