Like the best of relievers, it depends on what team you support as to whether Fernando Rodney coming out of the bullpen is considered maddening or desirable. Unlike the best of relievers, the phenomenon is most often maddening for supporters of the team he’s playing on and desirable for supporters of the team he’s playing against.
Nonetheless, the Tampa Bay Rays have agreed on a one year contract with Rodney worth $1.75 million, and a $250,000 buyout if the team doesn’t pick up a 2013 option for $2.5 million.
For the record, the Tampa Bay Rays have made this move with full knowledge that they will continue to play in the American League East next year.
And while it should carry absolutely no predictive weight whatsoever, it’s somewhat fun to consider the following career numbers against opposing AL East teams not located in Baltimore:
- vs. Boston Red Sox: 96 BF, 8.10 ERA, 1.38 K:BB, .385 Opp OBP.
- Vs. New York Yankees: 74 BF, 4.60 ERA, 1.25 K:BB, .411 Opp OBP.
- Vs. Toronto Blue Jays: 94 BF, 6.10 ERA, 1.42 K:BB, .366 Opp OBP.
When one thinks of pitchers with a 95 miles per hour fastball combined with a slider that touches 90 miles per hour, one usually blacks out from excitement. The smelling salt in this case is Rodney’s absolute inability to exhibit the slightest bit of command, as his 18.7% walk rate last year in Anaheim will attest.
At the very least, the Rodney signing should provide for wish-I-could-be-a-fly-on-that-wall conversations with bullpen mate Kyle Farnsworth. The gathering of quotes from Rodney should also be an interesting practice considering the right-handed reliever was suspended for three games in 2009 after throwing a ball into the press box at Tropicana Field.