Fernando Rodney sucks. If you like and/or follow and the Seattle Mariners, chances are this is a conclusion you’ve already drawn after watching him flail in the bullpen this season. Rats to all he’s done before this year – we’ve got this year’s performance to consider, and it’s been awful. He’s been awful. It’s not at all unfair to say that at this point, Fernando Rodney totally sucks.
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When a player is performing at a particularly low level, it’s usually safe to assume that he will eventually start to pick it up again. Good players can play poorly for long stretches – just look at Robinson Cano, this very season! So nobody’s blaming you if you thought Rodney was going to turn it around. It’s almost surprising that he hasn’t improved at all, really.
But we’ve watched as the year has gone on, with Rodney only getting worse and worse. The former closer is getting older, after all, and at 38 years of age maybe it’s only right to expect serious decline. And that’s exactly what we’re seeing – a serious, steep decline. And after what happened yesterday, it’s probably time to give up any remaining hope for a turnaround. Rodney should only be expected to get worse now that he’s passed the point of no return.
With Carson Smith unavailable after having thrown two innings the night before, ninth inning duties somehow fell to Rodney with the Mariners looking to send things to extras. The Fernando Rodney experience last night: bunt single, bunt single, hit by pitch, strikeout, five-pitch walkoff walk. Call the bunts dumb luck if you will, but with the pressure on high Rodney completely buckled. He ended the game in one of the more embarrassing ways possible.
Aug 17, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre (29) is splashed with water after winning the game in the bottom of the ninth inning with a walk against Seattle Mariners relief pitcher Fernando Rodney (not pictured) at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Texas won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
On the year Rodney has a 5.19 ERA and 5.19 FIP. He’s been worth -0.8 WAR. By just about any count he’s been at or near the bottom of the pile. Very, very few major league players have had worse years, and you bet the ones who have been worse haven’t been thrown into high-leverage situations nearly as often as he has. Sure, the Mariners are mighty short on relief options, but still… Fernando Rodney? In the ninth inning of a tie game?
Rodney has a history of walking too many batters. Last night he walked a batter when it would have been preferable for him to do… anything else. A grand slam would have been more tolerable, given the associations between the words “Rodney” and “walks.” Given the significance of this particular walk and the fanbase’s current (constant) psychological state, it’s time to cut bait. I mean, it’s been time, but now it’s reeeeally time.
Does it matter that the Mariners are more or less out of relievers? No, not really. As long as they have warm bodies, they have players who are better and more promising that Rodney. Maybe you, the reader are more likely to help the team the rest of the way and in the future! Couldn’t be any more infuriating than Rodney, right? The team could just pick a new 25th man out of the stands an hour before each game or something. It would be a hoot.
It’s kind of unconventional for a bad team to release an expensive, accomplished veteran at their thinnest position in August, but that’s what the Mariners should do. Fernando Rodney’s already passed the point of no return performance-wise, and now he’s had his ultimate moment. All he can do from here on out is draw our ire, and we deserve better than that. Release Fernando Rodney. I’d rather watch Jack Zduriencik pitch.
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