On Monday night news broke that the Washington Nationals will be calling up 42-year-old reliever Fernando Rodney from AAA Fresno.
Before Saturday night, the Washington Nationals’ bullpen seemed like they had things turned around. A bullpen that was on pace to be the worst in Major League history through the first two months of the season, had been one of the best statistical pens in all of baseball in June.
Wander Suero and Tanner Rainey had settled in as the late-inning men to get to All-Star closer Sean Doolittle, and Washington started to win games by holding leads in the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings. But once Saturday struck, all this went out the door.
The Nationals’ bullpen blew four-run leads two times in a 13-9 loss against the Atlanta Braves Saturday night. They then followed it up by Rainey giving up a two-run homer Sunday afternoon, leading to another Nationals loss.
The failure of the bullpen this weekend already led to one roster move. Trevor Rosenthal was released by the Nationals, ending the experiment that should have likely had the plug pulled months ago, but Washington was not done there.
On Monday news came out that the Nationals are promoting 42-year-old Fernando Rodney from AAA Fresno. The veteran has appeared in nine games in AAA with a 4.50 E.R.A and nine walks in just eight innings of work.
Rodney started the year with Oakland and struggled greatly leading to his release. In 14.1 innings he gave up 20 hits, 15 runs, and walked 12 batters. Despite not having great success, he still did strike out 14 batters in those 14 innings and has struck out 11 batters in his eight AAA innings in Fresno.
The biggest thing the Nationals need out of their bullpen right now is someone who can consistently throw strikes, and at this point of his career, Rodney has not shown the ability to be that guy. His walk numbers are very high, and if he is not able to command the ball, it could be another Rosenthal situation.
Rodney still is registering high 90s on his fastball, so if he is able to stay in the zone there is a chance he could have some success. Right now the Washington Nationals do not have many options to fix their bullpen, so at the very least it is worth seeing what Rodney has left in the tank.