Knowing when to keep showing belief in your guys and knowing when to give up on a player is a fine line to walk. A line which Seattle Mariners’ skipper Lloyd McClendon is firmly on the side of believing in his guys.
But even Lloyd has to be considering his options at this point. Here is the argument for why it’s time to make a change.
In his last two appearances, Fernando Rodney has given up six runs on six hits, with three walks and zero strikeouts. And he has only recorded FOUR OUTS.
He wasn’t even particularly great in 2014, despite recording a lot of saves. Out of the eight Seattle relievers who recorded at least 30 appearances, Rodney had the worst WHIP and the second worst ERA. He had a lot of saves, but in general, the argument could be made that he was one the Mariners’ worst pitchers.
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The argument for Rodney, is that he wasn’t actually all that bad in Tuesday night’s 6-5 loss.
Jimmy Rollins‘ single was on a pitch that was well low, out of the strike zone. That’s just a good piece of hitting by a veteran player that moved the tying run to third. Next came a walk to Adrian Gonzalez, which included multiple pitches that the tracer placed right on the corners. It was also a player who is hitting .548/.622/1.194, so Rodney was being cautious, and rightfully so.
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The outing in Oakland was bad, and there’s no way around it. But this blown save was as much a fluke as it was poor pitching. He also is capable of throwing some nasty pitches, and still can touch 96-97 MPH on the gun. However, the M’s have a handful of guys in the bullpen who can do the same.
If McClendon did decide to go with someone else, Farquhar is the most likely candidate. Carson Smith has still yet to give up a run in 13.1 innings in his MLB career, and has more than passed the eye test, making Mike Trout and Albert Pujols look like back-to-back little-leaguers. Yoervis Medina has also been pitching well as of late.
I’m writing this just a few days after writing about how Lloyd’s patience with Rickie Weeks payed off. But regardless, outings like this can’t keep happening. As fans of the Seattle Mariners, we watched as they missed out on the playoffs by ONE GAME in 2014. So I would prefer not to hear, “it’s early, give him time.” Yes, it is still likely that they make the playoffs with how much better they are offensively, but we still don’t know how much this loss could cost us.