KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Closer Fernando Rodney is likely unavailable for today’s game against Kansas City this afternoon.
Rodney has appeared in the Mariners’ last three games, and manager Lloyd McClendon said he doesn’t like using guys more than three days in a row.
Rodney’s appearances have often been marked by their heart-pounding nature because he has often worked himself into a jam before usually wiggling out of it. But Rodney has been better of late, and McClendon said that’s because he’s throwing more strikes early in the count.
“I think he’s making a conscious effort to work ahead in the count,” McClendon said. “He realizes what teams have tried to do and that’s just take pitch. He’s finding the strike zone a lot earlier, and when he gets ahead, he’s tough.”
In his last 13 innings, Rodney has 12 strikeouts while allowing seven hits, two walks and one run, although that game resulted in a Mariners loss.
In the 16 1/3 innings he pitched to start the season, Rodney’s strikeout numbers were similar with 22. But he also allowed 19 hits, nine walks and gave up six earned runs (eight runs total).
“My guess is teams are saying that he lacks command so let’s make him throw a strike,” McClendon said. “But that hasn’t been the case lately.”