Results tagged ‘ Fernando Rodney ’

Postscript on World Baseball Classic

Now that it’s official that Justin Verlander won’t be on Team USA, that clears the Tigers to put him on a pretty regular schedule of pitching once every five days. Project that out, and he should be on track to pitch Opening Day, though manager Jim Leyland hasn’t announced anything on that front quite yet.

Rodney’s a more interesting case. He said again this morning that he ready to pitch for the club again, as he did in 2006, but he wasn’t sure what happened. So it doesn’t appear that he pulled out. It looks like the Domincan team opted for some younger relievers, including Jose Arredondo and Rafael Perez. However, Arredondo looks like the only reliever resembling a closer on that squad.

As for Rodney, look for him to get at least one outing where the Tigers stretch him for 40-45 pitches, like pitching coach Rick Knapp plans to do with Brandon Lyon. For one thing, it gets his arm stretched out. For another thing, it gives him a chance to mix in his slider.

Also had a chance to check with Carlos Guillen, who suggested there’s a chance he could end up at DH in some opening round games. It would free up a corner outfield spot for Bobby Abreu, and it would ease some wear and tear on his knees playing on the artificial surface in Toronto.

First day question: What's that hanging from Rodney's neck?

Now, I know, Fernando Rodney has had a lot of quirks over his years as a Tiger — the crooked hat, the singing, the big hair, the shaving of the head one afternoon last summer before a game at Baltimore. Somewhat surprisingly, he didn’t really stand out when he reported to spring training this year. Then when he was getting ready for the Tigers’ first workouts Saturday, he put on this necklace with something hanging off of it. It looked like some sort of animal tooth, but it had to have come from one big animal. So I asked Rodney what it was.

Well, according to Rodney, it’s an alligator tooth. When I asked him how he got it, he said he got it from a gator back home in the Dominican, wrestled one in the river.

Before you want gator wrestling added to Rodney’s contract, it’s probably a tall tale. His hometown in the Dominican is along the coast, not inland, so he’s more likely to encounter a shark than a gator. And if you look online, you can find jewelry involving alligator teeth. Nevertheless, it’s Rodney, and he wore that gator tooth all morning, so I figured it was worth telling.

13 Tigers on World Baseball Classic rosters

Before you read the list, keep in mind two things: These are 45-man provisional rosters, not the final 28-man rosters that will be announced next month, so a few of these guys might not make the cut. Plus, some of these players weren’t going to spring training with the big league club, so they won’t cut into the camp population. With that in mind, here’s the list, sorted by country:

Curtis Granderson, OF, USA
Justin Verlander, P, USA
Miguel Cabrera, IF, Venezuela
Armando Galarraga, P, Venezuela
Carlos Guillen, OF, Venezuela
Magglio Ordonez, OF, Venezuela
Placido Polanco, 2B, Dominican Rep.
Fernando Rodney, P, Dominican Rep.
Fu-Te Ni, P, Chinese Taipei
Cale Iorg, IF, Canada
Max St. Pierre, C, Canada
Andrew Graham, C, Australia
Brendan Wise, P, Australia

Tigers avoid arbitration with Rodney

While the Tigers remain on the lookout for a closer this offseason,
they have avoided arbitration with their incumbent. Fernando Rodney and
the club agreed to terms Wednesday on a one-year contract worth $2.7
million, according to two industry sources.

Rodney, who will
turn 32 years old in March, saved 13 games this year to go with an 0-6
record and a 4.91 ERA. He became Detroit’s closer near the end of July,
while Todd Jones battled shoulder problems, and remained in the role
for the better part of the final two months.

As of now, he
remains Detroit’s in-house option for the job. The Tigers have
maintained contact with free-agent relievers on the market with veteran
closing experience, including Jason Isringhausen and Brandon Lyon, but
have yet to make a signing. Even if the Tigers add someone with closing
experience, however, Rodney could get some share of opportunities. At
the very least, he would fill a setup role in the eighth inning.

Rodney will be eligible for free agency at season’s end. That could end up a big motivation for him

Leyland on Tiger Talk

Hope everyone had a good holiday season while I was on break. It’s funny how the holidays can go by pretty quick when Detroit’s winter seems to drag on.

Anyway, Jim Leyland was on the Tiger Talk show on WXYT Monday night, where Dan Dickerson and Pat Caputo asked him about the bullpen. When asked about the importance of having a set closer going into spring training, Leyland was uncertain they’d have that.

“I don’t know that that’s going to happen. I don’t know that we can say that. I think [Fernando] Rodney, if I was going to assess him and give my own opinion, I think he has the potential to do it, but from what I’ve seen in the past, he’s probably a very good part-time closer. In other words, there’s some nights when he takes unhittable stuff out there with good control. There are some other nights when the control is not good enough. So I would say he’s a very good part-time closer, but probably not a real perfect closer at this particular time — consistent enough, maybe, is the right word.

“But I’m looking forward to Rodney this year because, whether people believe this or not, Rodney’s a free agent and I think he’s going to do everything he can. He knows this is a big year for him. So we should be able to get quite a bit out of Rodney this year. But to say that he’s going to be our definite closer, I couldn’t say that at this time.”

Leyland also reiterated his stance that he wants to get a look at the young relievers in camp, such as Ryan Perry and Cody Satterwhite, and try to learn from observing them. “I’m going to look at them,” Leyland said. “I’m going to keep an open mind.”

Asked about the moves so far, he said, “I think Dave did exactly what he thought he was going to have to do. I think he said he was going to have to be creative. I think he’s done that. I think he’s done a good job. We’re still in the mix for a couple things that would solidify our club even a little bit more. Exactly what that’s going to be, I don’t know. But I think Dave’s done a good job.”

On another relief note, head athletic trainer Kevin Rand said Monday that Joel Zumaya could start a throwing program in Lakeland within a week. What does that mean for Zumaya’s chances for starting the season three months from today? We’ll find out, but barring a setback, it should be somewhat encouraging.

Closer by committee?

Joel Zumaya is back and available. Moreover, if the Tigers have a lead heading into the ninth inning, manager Jim Leyland indicated that Zumaya would close it out.

Asked if Fernando Rodney is still the closer, Leyland said, “Sometimes.” Other times, he said, it could be Zumaya or it could be Kyle Farnsworth.

Essentially, it’s like a closer by committee. But that’s not really much different than what Leyland was talking about last week, when he also mentioned that Zumaya could get some opportunities before his arm soreness prompted Leyland to rest him Saturday and Sunday.

Rodney, Zumaya both out tonight

That means your closer for tonight is Todd Jones. Awkward, no?

Zumaya’s triceps injury is still being treated as tightness. The training staff used electrotherapy on it to try to loosen up the triceps, and now it’s a matter of resting it. He remains day-to-day. Manager Jim Leyland said he hopes to have Rodney back on Tuesday.

Not much change in the lineup. Gary Sheffield, 6-for-31 lifetime against Paul Byrd, is out. Matt Joyce, 2-for-3 off Byrd from last month, is back in. So is Marcus Thames, who has an interesting line off Byrd: 2-for-9, two homers, four strikeouts.

As expected, much of the Tigers front office is here in Cleveland with the team. Many of them are down on the field for batting practice rather than holed up, so it seems the trade talks are relatively quiet for now.

TIGERS (53-51)

  1. Curtis Granderson, CF
  2. Placido Polanco, 2B
  3. Carlos Guillen, 3B
  4. Magglio Ordonez, RF
  5. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
  6. Matt Joyce, LF
  7. Marcus Thames, DH
  8. Ivan Rodriguez, C
  9. Edgar Renteria, SS

INDIANS (45-58)

  1. Grady Sizemore, CF (6-for-32 lifetime vs. Rogers)
  2. Franklin Gutierrez, RF
  3. Ben Francisco, LF
  4. Jhonny Peralta, SS
  5. Kelly Shoppach, C
  6. Andy Marte, 3B
  7. Ryan Garko, 1B
  8. Andy Gonzalez, DH
  9. Asdrubal Cabrera, 2B

Rodney solid at Toledo, set for call

Apparently those tweaks Chuck Hernandez made with Fernando Rodney worked. He tossed two hitless innings Friday night with no walks and three strikeouts. In fact, 22 of his 26 pitches went for strikes. His only baserunner reached on an error.

POSTGAME UPDATE: This is likely the last of Rodney’s rehab appearance. As long as Rodney feels fine tomorrow, Leyland indicated, the Tigers are set to activate him from the disabled list after Sunday’s game and have him in their bullpen Monday in San Francisco.

Rodney/Zumaya at Toledo Sunday night

Fernando Rodney struck out the side in the sixth, but gave up a solo homer and a walk in between the Ks. Joel Zumaya needed just 11 pitches retire the side in order in the seventh, but had three balls hit well off of him — one for a single, another for a line out to right that became a double play, then another for the third out. He hit 98 on the Fifth Third Field radar gun, according to Jim Weber on the play-by-play broadcast.

Rodney, Zumaya throw side sessions

It was the first real-intensity mound session for Zumaya since his shoulder surgery last fall, and it was the first mound session for Rodney since getting good news from Dr. Andrews a few weeks ago. Both threw for about six minutes, with Zumaya limited to fastballs and changeups, and both felt good during and afterwards. Rodney, particularly, felt very good.

“He felt this was his best bullpen [session] to date,” head athletic trainer Kevin Rand said. “He felt his delivery was closer to his normal delivery.”

As long as they feel fine in the coming days, both will throw again off the mound this weekend — Zumaya on Saturday, Rodney on Saturday or Sunday depending on how he feels. If Rodney continues to progress, he could be on a relatively fast track to getting back to game action.

As for the lineup tonight, both Pudge and Renteria have the night off. Jim Leyland said he’ll probably also give Pudge one game off in Minnesota, allowing him to work in another game for Inge to keep him fresh while easing the wear and tear on Pudge.

The Tigers lineup:

  1. Granderson, CF
  2. Polanco, 2B
  3. Sheffield, DH
  4. Ordonez, RF
  5. Cabrera, 1B
  6. Guillen, 3B
  7. Jones, LF
  8. Inge, C
  9. Santiago, SS

For the injury-depleted Yanks, who shuffled their order a little to break up the string of left-handed hitters that Leyland was bringing in Seay and Rapada to face:

  1. Johnny Damon, LF
  2. Derek Jeter, SS
  3. Bobby Abreu, RF
  4. Shelley Duncan, 1B
  5. Hideki Matsui, DH
  6. Melky Cabrera, CF
  7. Morgan Ensberg, 3B
  8. Robinson Cano, 2B
  9. Chad Moeller, C

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