The last couple weeks have seen a lot of attention be put on Fernando Rodney for a number of reasons.
Rodney helped the Dominican Republic to a WBC title while saving seven games along the way. The fans also saw Rodney with a plantain during pregame introductions for the title game, which was unnecessary to me. The problem I now have with Rodney is all the work he got during this WBC and how they will affect the Tampa Bay Rays this season.
There were a ton of high-pressure moments put on Rodney during the WBC and while there is still over a week until the MLB regular season gets underway, I’m curious if all those pitches will slow him down this season.
Rodney had a magnificent year in 2012 for the Rays with 48 saves and an ERA of just 0.60. He isn’t going to match those numbers again this season as that would be unreasonable for anyone to ask for, but Rodney will probably save another 30-35 games for Tampa Bay.
However, I think there is an injury concern there now.
Rodney is obviously very emotional on the mound, but he hasn’t proven to me that he is a top-flight closer just yet with only two seasons on the job. Rodney is also 36-years old now and all those crazy moves on the mound are going to have him pull something this season.
I love what Rodney does pitching and Tampa must love it too, but there has to be some restrictions put on it as age catches up. It will be a storyline worth paying attention to this season.