Are there documents or articles related to the use of rodding grout cells vs vibrating them?
There is currently no research or comparative discussions regarding rodding grout. The probable reason is that mechanical vibration has been required for many years by the Building Code Requirements and Specification for Masonry Structures or TMS 402/602. Puddling/ rodding is allowed in pours of 12" or less. Please review paragraph 3.5 E in TMS 602. I know of 1 or 2 jurisdictions that have waived that requirement. You can check your local building department. Another option could be to use TMS 602 paragraph 3.5 G regarding Alternate grout placement.
TMS 402/602 Building Code Requirements & Specification for Masonry Structures
Don Beers, PE, GC
Jerry Painter, FASTM