Date of birth: March 18, 1977
2017 line: 61 G, 55.1 IP, 4.23 ERA, 3.03 FIP 39 SV
2017 value: 0.4 bWAR
2017 salary: $2,750,000 Free Agent
7.42 SnakePit Rating
Fernando Rodney’s stats turned out to be fairly average for a closer. At the low low price of under $3M, he turned out to be a bargain for this team. His ERA was inflated all year after a dreadful April. His FIP tells a better story. Collecting 39 saves in 45 opportunities was good for a solid 87%, which compares to the traditional league average of 85% positively.
More importantly, he didn’t hurt this team. If he was replaced with Kenley Jansen or a 1980’s Dennis Eckersley, it probably would not have mattered. The D-backs would of still gotten the 1st Wild Card and still would have played and lost to the Dodgers in the Division Series. Which is comforting I suppose. I’m not the only D-backs fan who had a nagging feeling (fear) that he would be the one to throw the last pitch of the season - in a bad way. Besides, even great closers like Jansen and Eck have given up some big home runs.
He brought a collective cold sweat to D-backs fans every time he came into a game in the 9th inning all year. Why was that? First of all, he had catastrophic meltdowns. Most memorably against the Rockies and Dodgers during critical times of the season. That Dodgers game in July still stings. He would come into a game with that reputation and sometimes give up a hit, walk a batter, and then fall behind the next batter 2-0. Actually, it usually panned out well and the arrow would be pointed to the sky. That’s because his changeup is a dandy. It’s the pitch that bailed him out and brought collective relief to his fans.
It is also worth mentioning that he had his dominant stretches this year. In fact, if June was a game, he would have thrown a no-hitter and more. He was an important player on this team that stabilized the back end of the bullpen all year.
Most fans are assuming that Fernando Rodney will be gone next year to pave the way for Archie Bradley to close. If you look at the numbers, it makes sense. But honestly, we don’t know how Bradley will react after his first blown game. In fact, that was the most impressive part of Rodney in my eyes. After blowing that wretched game at Dodger Stadium, he returned to pitching his game. Not always a pretty game. But he is truly a veteran and knew how to deal with both success and failure.