Fernando Rodney not happy in role

September, 13, 2011
9/13/11
6:48
PM PT
OAKLAND -- What happened to Fernando Rodney, the Angels reliever who has -- step by step -- sunk as far as a reliever can go while still retaining a uniform?

He began this season as the Angels closer, was demoted after four outings to the setup man and, now, struggles to get outs in blowouts. He has walked 28 batters in 32 innings, the highest pace of his career.

According to Rodney, losing the faith of manager Mike Scioscia and getting sporadic work have affected his performance. He said he never understood why he was replaced by Jordan Walden as the closer so early in the season.

"Four games ... In 162 games, that's not a lot," Rodney said. "Look around baseball. A lot of teams have problems with their closers. St. Louis, Kansas City, the Chicago White Sox. They get more chances. I've walked too many guys, but I know I can do my job. I feel good."

Rodney is 3-5 with a 4.50 ERA. Opponents have batted just .224 against him, but the high walk totals and issues in high-leverage situations cost him Scioscia's trust.

"His fastball command has been poor, not just with location but even getting it over the plate," Scioscia said. "He's throwing it very hard. At times, he's maybe tried to overthrow it a little bit. Fernando's stuff is still there. It's just a matter of getting it over the plate early enough to use all his pitches.

"We certainly haven't given up on him, but right now, you have to hold leads and we've been going with Bobby [Cassevah], Scott [Downs] and Jordan, because their production is much better."

Rodney, a free agent after this season, said he would like to go somewhere he can get more regular work. He has pitched just twice this month, including Monday night when he had struggle mopping up an inning with the Angels trailing 6-2.

"I'm a relief pitcher. My whole career, I'm pitching every day or every two or three days," Rodney said. "I can't get comfortable."

Here are lineups for Tuesday night's game:

Angels

1. Maicer Izturis 2B

2. Howie Kendrick 1B

3. Bobby Abreu DH

4. Torii Hunter RF

5. Alberto Callaspo 3B

6. Vernon Wells LF

7. Erick Aybar SS

8. Peter Bourjos CF

9. Hank Conger C

A's

1. Jemile Weeks 2B

2. Cliff Pennington SS

3. Hideki Matsui LF

4. Josh Willingham DH

5. Scott Sizemore 3B

6. Ryan Sweeney CF

7. Kurt Suzuki C

8. Brandon Allen 1B

9. Michael Taylor RF

Mark Saxon

ESPNLosAngeles.com
Mark Saxon is a staff writer for ESPNLosAngeles.com. He spent six years at the Orange County Register, and began his career at the Oakland Tribune, where he started an 11-year journey covering Major League Baseball. He has also covered colleges, including USC football and UCLA basketball.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Mike Trout
BA HR RBI R
.309 24 76 70
OTHER LEADERS
HRM. Trout 24
RBIM. Trout 76
RM. Trout 70
OPSM. Trout 1.005
WG. Richards 11
ERAG. Richards 2.47
SOG. Richards 134