Saturday, December 27, 2008

Fernando Rodney 2009

I was surprised to see recently that as of right now, Fernando Rodney is still anticipated to be the Detroit Tigers closer in 2009. Really? Haven't they figured out yet that relying on marginally effective pitchers who have trouble staying healthy as their closer isn't such a good idea? At his best Rodney is overpower, if a bit wild. He can strike out more than a batter per inning, which means he'll always be ALMOST dominating. At the same time, if he walks six batters per inning as he did last season, he's going to allow a lot of runs. Complicating any projection for him is the fact that his groundball rate has ranged from a weak 40.2% (in 2008) to as high as 56.5% (in 2006). Where his 'true' skill lies in that range will make a big difference in whether he can get the job done as a closer for an entire season. I wouldn't bet on it though.

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