The Milwaukee Brewers signed relief pitcher Francisco Rodriguez to a minor-league deal Wednesday night. Could the Brewers use Rodriguez on the active roster?
The acquisition is a win-win for the Brewers as there is hardly any risk involved in the deal. If Rodriguez pans out over the next 30 days then Milwaukee can sign him to the 25-man roster and have a useful arm in the bullpen. If he does not show anything left in the tank over the next month then the Brewers will release him without any harm done.
“He kept looking for a job,” Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “He liked playing here. It’s similar to the (Jose) Valverde deal. We have 30 days to make a decision. We talked about it in spring training.
“This gives us an option to go to if we want to and need to. It’s low-risk on our side.”
Rodriguez was phenomenal for Milwaukee in 2011 in which he went 4-0 with a 1.86 earned run average and 33 strikeouts in 31 appearances after the All-Star break. Unfortunately, the Brewers did not have the same luck last season as K-Rod faltered. The right-hander posted a 2-7 record with a 4.38 ERA and a disappointing seven blown saves in 72 innings.
Considering Milwaukee’s bullpen has been mediocre at best this season, it is certainly not a bad decision to give Rodriguez a shot in the bullpen. The Brewers’ relievers rank 11th in the National League in ERA (4.65), 13th in opponent batting average (.289) and have allowed a league-worst 27 earned runs. Milwaukee has also blown two saves to pour salt into the wound.
There is no guarantee that adding Rodriguez to the mix will improve the statistics, but at least he has been a proven asset for the majority of his career. Not to mention, he enjoys playing in Milwaukee for manager Ron Roenicke, which is always a plus.
With John Axford posting a 15.19 ERA in 5 1/3 innings and Michael Gonzalez recording a 10.12 ERA in 2 2/3 innings, the Brewers have nothing to lose by giving the 31-year-old a shot. If anything else, the fact that K-Rod could be added to the bullpen at any point should motivate the other relievers to play better.