Former Oakland A’s reliever Fernando Rodney is running out of time, but he still has a chance to reach the 1000 appearance plateau.
Over the course of MLB history, only 16 players have pitched in 1000 or more games. It is an exclusive group, one that seemingly will not have a new member for some time. That is unless former Oakland A’s reliever Fernando Rodney can find a new home for 2021.
Rodney has made 951 appearances over his 17 years in the majors, with varying degrees of success. There were times when he seemed to be on the verge of being out of the league, only to make an improbable comeback and find success in the bullpen once again. That up and down career has led to three All Star appearances and five seasons with 30 or more saves, but he also has seven seasons where his ERA was worse than league average.
He once again finds himself at a point where his career is seemingly at an end. Rodney had been signed by the Astros on July 31, a depth piece stashed at their alternate site in case he was needed. However, despite the numerous injuries to their pitching staff, he never reached the majors last year, being released on September 2.
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That does not mean that Rodney has given up. He has yet to retire, making an appearance for the Sugar Land Skeeters and may look to pitch in the Winter Leagues as he attempts to extend his career. Given the state of relief pitching throughout the game, if Rodney can show anything during the winter, he could get that chance.
Overall, despite those ups and downs, he has been a solid reliever. He has posted a 3.80 ERA and a 1.373 WHiP, striking out 943 batters with 464 walks over his 933 innings. Although he may not be considered as an option for the ninth inning any longer, Rodney has notched 327 saves, the 17th most in MLB history.
For a team looking for a veteran reliever on a relatively inexpensive deal, Rodney may be worth a flier. He would be 44 years old before the start of the season, and would not be a long term solution, but he still might have enough left in the tank to be a solid option.
Former Oakland A’s reliever Fernando Rodney needs 49 games to reach the 1000 appearance milestone. Given the shape of relief pitching throughout the game, he may get the chance to make history.