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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Angels - Signed Rodney

Los Angeles Angels - Signed P Fernando Rodney to a 2-year, $11 million contract.

This kind of reminds me of the climactic scene from the movie Spartacus.  Unwilling to point out which GM is Ed Wade, Tony Reagins bravely stands up, shouts “I am Ed Wade!” and signs a significantly inferior pitcher to a similar contract.

Brendan Donnelly

Mike Fyrhie

Kevin Gregg

Alan Levine

Joel Peralta

Mark Petkovsek

Lou Pote

Francisco Rodriguez

Scot Shields

Ben Weber

Matt Wise

Remember when the Angels could assemble most of a bullpen for a couple of million a year through scrapheap pickups and in-house development?

When it comes down to it, Rodney’s essentially a serviceable reliever, whose impressive fastball is surpassed only by an impressive lack of command.  I imagine there will be a lot of 8th innings in which Angel fans channel George Stallings.  Given that Octavio Dotel, a superior pitcher to Rodney, is expected to sign a 1-year, $3 million contract with the Pirates, the former should think about hiring the latter’s agent.

ZiPS Projection - Fernando Rodney
        W   L   G GS   IP   H   ER HR BB SO   ERA   ERA+
2010     4   3 56   0 57.2 53   28   6 34 56 4.37   105      
2011     3   3 53   0 54.2 50   27   6 31 53 4.45   103

Dan Szymborski Posted: December 23, 2009 at 10:03 PM | 13 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. shout-out to 57i66135; that shit's working now Posted: December 23, 2009 at 11:13 PM (#3421261)
still waiting on polanco to the phils.
   2. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: December 24, 2009 at 12:37 AM (#3421309)
Speaking of the Phils, there was buzz that they were kicking the tires on Rodney. The fans would have gone nuts if Amaro had spent 11M for Rodney(even if it were 2 years) after having let Lee go because of a mere 9M.
   3. rLr Is King Of The Romans And Above Grammar Posted: December 24, 2009 at 02:08 AM (#3421377)
The fans would have gone nuts if Amaro had spent 11M for Rodney(even if it were 2 years) after having let Lee go because of a mere 9M.

They would have been right. One year of Cliff Lee is worth a decade of Fernando Rodney.
   4. Jamal Touch em All Posted: December 24, 2009 at 03:22 AM (#3421425)
Fernando was a vastly different pitcher in save situations and non-save situations. I would go so far to say that he would "pitch to the score." He was able to consistently get good hitters out in save situations - I think there is a bit of a groupthink around here with those who simply look at his ERA and assume he was lucky to only get burned once in save situations. If you watch him pitch you'd have a bit more confidence in him when the game is on the line. He throws heat, and can match it with a very good changeup.

In save situations batters hit .658 against him, in non-save situations in was .802 (160 versus 170 plate appearances). What does this mean for next year? Hard to tell, because now the guy has been paid and he won't be the closer. However Fuentes didn't exactly make Angels fans forget Krod last year, and maybe Scosia will figure out that Rodney is a different guy when he's "on".

Obviously this is a big chunk of change for a pitcher projecting a 4.37 ERA next year, but I wouldn't be surprised if he is a closer again by the end of the contract.
   5. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 24, 2009 at 03:46 AM (#3421439)
In save situations batters hit .658 against him, in non-save situations in was .802 (160 versus 170 plate appearances).

Why would we expect this to be anything except random luck?

I can't imagine he was pitching multiple innings with really big leads; that's what "pitching to the score" would imply.

Is he not trying to get guys out when the game is tied, or he has a three or four run lead?
   6. Greg K Posted: December 24, 2009 at 03:46 AM (#3421440)
Fernando Rodney in his career

Save situations OPS against - .731
Non-save situations OPS against - .696
   7. Jamal Touch em All Posted: December 24, 2009 at 05:00 AM (#3421470)
For #6's point he wasn't really ever a closer until last year, so the bulk of the save situations he was given were only in "surprise" situations. Therefore his career non-save situations will include the bulk of his '05 and '06 where he put up over 110 innings with better than a 135 ERA+.

Last year was really the only time he was "anointed" as the closer, and so my argument is that it is our only real sample. I'd bet that Rodney's better ERA years would correspond to lower leverage situations, as one would expect, but this is also slanting the data to show (incorrectly in my opinion) that he is merely the same pitcher in a save vs non-save situation.

For #5 - I used the quotation marks around "pitching to the score" because he wasn't doing that in the sense a starter would with a really big lead, but there were multiple occasions where Rodney would come in in a non-save situation and let the ball be put in play or get overly careless with his walks. It was pretty plain to see, and I'd bet some Tiger fans would back me up on this. He just did not challenge hitters the same way as when he had a lead to hold. I do not know what goes through a pitcher's mind in these scenarios, if they want to minimize injury risk, be more selective of the hitters they show anything to, or save themselves for the next day but routinely last year Rodney would make a habit of this. Therefore I don't think it is random luck - my belief is that there is various levels of either effort or strategy he would put forth.
   8. Mr Dashwood Posted: December 24, 2009 at 12:53 PM (#3421519)
[Rodney] wasn't really ever a closer until last year

No, he wasn't. However, he was the main setup guy, I'd say, starting part-way through the 2006 season until 2008. You run that fellow out in a save situation in the 7th or 8th. And Leyland was following Rodney with 'Todd TumsĀ®'.

Late innings' pressure situations were a time when Tigers' fans suffered serious acid indigestion.
   9. Mike Emeigh Posted: December 24, 2009 at 08:57 PM (#3421886)
2009 was the first time in his career that Rodney pitched exceptionally well in high-leverage situations (leverage index 1.5 or greater). Before 2009, although the BAs were low, he gave up a lot of walks and EBH in high leverage.

2009 was also the first time in his career that Rodney pitched exceptionally poorly in low leverage situations (leverage index 0.5 or below). It is not uncommon for a closer to do his worst work in low-leverage situations, BTW.

-- MWE
   10. Tom Nawrocki Posted: December 24, 2009 at 09:11 PM (#3421894)
I'm hoping Scioscia is smart enough to use both Fuentes and Rodney in the closer role, in sort of a platoon fashion, depending on whether the ninth-inning lineup is righty- or lefty-heavy. They'd probably be pretty devastating that way.
   11. ?Donde esta Dagoberto Campaneris? Posted: December 24, 2009 at 09:42 PM (#3421918)
I agree with Tom- especially since that approach keeps Fuentes' option from vesting, (based on games finished) which is nice.
   12. The NeverEnding Torii (oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh) Posted: December 31, 2009 at 12:44 PM (#3425315)
They were closer now, Fernando.

Every hour, every minute seemed to last eternity.

I was so afraid, Fernando...

We were young and full of life and none of us prepared to die.

..and I'm not ashamed to say the Yanks and Fuentes almost made me cry.
   13. Rough Carrigan Posted: January 10, 2010 at 01:50 AM (#3433057)
Yeah, but can you fit Mike Scioscia into Dancing Queen?

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