A portion of the Nationals fanbase has grown tired of Henry Rodriguez‘s presence in the Washington bullpen, but despite a few late game meltdowns that cost him the closer’s role he generally has not pitched poorly on the season so far*. He has just failed to meet what now look to be very high expectations. He does continue to surprise, however, after The Washington Post’s Adam Kilgorelearned that he was unavailable to pitch during yesterday’s loss at Miami because he had slammed his right index finger in a door earlier in the day.
Rodriguez did play catch and loosen up with the team prior to the game, but he was wearing a protective glove on his hand to help maintain the swelling. Manager Davey Johnson expects Rodriguez will be available to pitch Friday when the team opens a three game series at home against the Braves.
* Looking at Rodriguez’s splits gives a better impression of his overall success this season, rather than simply looking at his numbers as a whole. He’s been remarkably better at home than on the road, for instance. In 11 appearances (10.1 IP) at Nationals Park he’s 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA and 0.871 WHIP. In 12 appearances (9.2 IP) on the road he’s 0-3 with a 10.24 ERA and 1.759 WHIP. His future value is tied into whether he can balance those performances out and develop into a consistently reliable pitcher – which remains to be seen.