When Fernando Rodney takes the mound, the fans could be in for a show. There is one problem with that reality. Your closer is not supposed to be that exciting.
Too often, Rodney makes things way too interesting.
The Mariners had a 1-0 lead last night against the Tampa Bay Rays after Hisashi Iwakuma pitched a four-hit gem over eight innings. Iwakuma’s night was over after 97 pitches, and Lloyd McClendon did what just about every manager would do.
Bring in the closer to slam the door.
Unfortunately, the Rays got a foot in that door and proceeded to kick it the other way. When the carnage was over, Rodney had given up two runs on four hits, including a home run.
The Mariners had to know that this is what they were getting when they signed Rodney to a two-year, $14 million deal. Rodney brings swagger, fireworks, charisma and unfortunately, some erratic pitching.
Rodney has 22 strikeouts in 16.1 innings this year. Not bad. He has also given up 19 hits. Not good.
11 saves. Two blown. ERA of 3.31 for the year. WAR of 0.0 for 2014.
The numbers tell a mixed story. At times Rodney is dominant. At other times Rodney just doesn’t seem to have the makeup to be a consistent closer.
Is there anything to be done? The rest of the bullpen is not exactly mowing down the competition.
For now, Fernando Rodney will probably remain the closer. A couple of blown saves does not mean the season is lost. That said, it is hard to feel terribly secure with him on the mound. Hang on, fans. This ride could remain a little bit bumpy.