clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

How Does Fernando Rodney Compare With Other Closers?

Comparing Rodney with closers around the league

Arizona Diamondbacks Photo Day
He closes games... or does he? YOU DECIDE.
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

What a weird season Fernando Rodney is having.. and all of the fans by association. Early in the season, I found myself imagining a much better team without Rodney as closer. Then from May 31st through July 1st I watched, astonished, as he pitched 10.2 hit-less innings with 16 strikeouts and only 4 walks. Rodney has pitched a total of 50 innings this season, 35 of which he has completed without allowing a hit. That is 70% of his outings that have been hit-less. That’s better than Knebel (47%), Jansen (55%), and Kimbrel (56%).

That sounds dominant so why does Rodney have one of the worst ERAs of all “closers” - only three other players with at least 10 saves have a worse ERA. We all know the answer to this... in just four appearances he allowed 15 earned runs in only 1.1 innings. Yikes - fifteen of the 26 earned runs he allowed this season came in that tiny window. Scrub those games and Rodney has a sparkling 2.12 ERA. Except it doesn’t work that way and you can’t ignore those games. It happened and the volatility likely points to it happening again.

Rodney has blown 14% of his save opportunities - 6 out of 36 - and at a glance that’s not a good look. Only two other pitchers with at least 25 saves have a worse percentage - Osuna (22%) and Kintzler (15%). However, the league’s most prominent closers aren’t far off. Kimbrel, Giles, Knebel, and Colome have at least 4 blown saves and percentages ranging from 11% to 13%.*

*CORRECTION: Fixed bad math because I failed school.

It’s probably fair not to trust Rodney due to his poor performances... but it’s also probably fine to rely on Rodney based on the strong evidence of his successes this year. Here is a table with key stats of all closers this year with at least 10 saves. Click on the columns to sort and compare.

Scroll to view all of the sort-able columns or access or a fullscreen view here -

To top it off, let’s do some pretending... assume the D-backs are in the playoffs and the NLDS is about to start...


Would you continue using Fernando Rodney as closer in the playoffs?

This poll is closed

  • 46%
    (86 votes)
  • 34%
    (64 votes)
  • 18%
    (34 votes)
184 votes total Vote Now