The Houston Astros released veteran relief pitcher Fernando Rodney.
While we may have hoped the Houston Astros much-maligned bullpen would get a little more interesting with the addition of veteran reliever Fernando Rodney, it turns out that won’t be the case. The club has released the 43-year-old after he’d been pitching at the team’s alternate training site since being picked up from the Sugar Land Skeeters in late July.
Rodney has spent roughly a month pitching in Corpus Christi, and the Astros have called up other pitchers in that time who were acquired later than him, such as Chase De Jong and Brooks Raley. The fact that Rodney has not been called up suggests the team wasn’t thrilled with what it saw from the well-traveled flamethrower.
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One would’ve thought his presence in the team’s young bullpen would’ve been a plus along with the fact that he still has the ability to be an effective late-inning weapon despite his age. His fastball still sat in the mid-90s as of last season, and his strikeout rate remained strong as well. He may no longer be the All-Star reliever he was a few years ago, but it was worth a shot to see if he still had something left in the tank.
Evidently the team decided that wasn’t the case and is moving on. There are further bullpen reinforcements coming in Chris Devenski and Brad Peacock, and there’s a chance (albeit a small one) that Justin Verlander and Roberto Osuna could help the pitching staff later this season as well.
Devenski has struggled the past couple of years, so the fact that the team clearly believes he’s a better option than Rodney should tell you all you need to know. It would’ve been fun to have the colorful former closer join the team’s relief corps, even for a short while, but evidently it just wasn’t to be.