Even though the Tampa Bay Rays didn’t make the playoffs, they were one of the best teams in baseball in 2012. The reason why the Rays were one of the best teams last season was because of their amazing bullpen, most notably Fernando Rodney. In 2013, however, not only is Rodney struggling to get outs consistently but the entire bullpen is bringing the team down.
In regards to Rodney, though, he simply cannot get the ball over the plate. In other words, the Rodney we are seeing in 2013 is basically the guy baseball fans have seen in every other year besides last season. Coming into today, Rodney has a putrid 7.36 BB/9 ratio, which is quite a bit higher than the 1.81 BB/9 he had last season. Moreover, Rodney had a ridiculous 0.24 HR/9 in 2012, which is basically impossible to replicate.
Basically, Fernando Rodney is proving why relievers are some of the most fickle athletes on the planet. A reliever could have a season where he has a sub 2.00 ERA and be out of baseball within two years. This is exactly why I believe Mariano Rivera is one of the top players in baseball history. Sure, closers are overrated, but Rivera has been one of the best for nearly two decades. I mean, it’s hard for a good reliever to be consistent for five seasons let alone 18 years like Rivera has been.
Needless to say the Rays need Rodney and the rest of their bullpen to start figuring things out soon. Rodney isn’t the only reliever that is under-performing on the Rays. Jake McGee, who I said was the best left-handed reliever outside of Aroldis Chapman prior to the season, is struggling as well. So, if the Rays want to get on the right path and win some games consistently, they will need their bullpen to start figuring things out before it’s too late.