Brignac was limited to just 13 games (compared to Rodriguez’s 21) due to plantar fasciitis. They both had almost identical OPS numbers this spring, it’s clear that Brignac has shown improvement at the plate, but Joe Maddon felt that Rodriguez closed the gap enough defensively to handle the starting duties.
Brignac and Elliot Johnson will also see time at shortstop, so if Rodriguez does struggle, one of those names would be the next in line to start.
If Rodriguez can play solid in the field, he brings a lot more potentially with his bat. He’s a little bit of a liability with batting average, but he brings a nice combination of power and speed.
Don’t be surprised if Brignac is sent down to the minors. He’s one of the few Rays who still have options left on his contract.