Baker wants Rodriguez _ so long as he's the old "K-Rod"

Alvin Kelly
June 27, 2017

"It wasn't an easy decision in the sense that Frankie's got a long track record, he's one of the best closers in the history of the game, over 400 saves", manager Brad Ausmus told reporters when Rodriguez was removed from the closer's role in May.

But this season, he has a 7.82 ERA and is 2-5 with six blown saves.

The Washington Nationals have agreed to a minor league contract with right-handed pitcher Francisco Rodriguez, according to ESPN's Buster Olney and multiple reports. That being said, the Nationals are tampering their expectations of what the 35-year-old veteran can bring to their ailing bullpen.

"It depends if he's still K-Rod", Baker said.

In 2016, he went 3-4 with a 3.24 ERA and 44 saves. Much of this can be attributed to a significant drop in fastball velocity, as was stated in an April report by SB Nation.

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For his big league career, Rdorgiuez has registered a 2.86 ERA alongside a almost even 52-53 record, 437 saves, 88 holds and 76 blown saves. He has been named to six All-Star teams and has accumulated 437 career saves in time with the Angels, Tigers, New York Mets, Baltimore Orioles, and Milwaukee Brewers.

This season, K-Rod is striking out 8.17 batters per nine innings, but opposing hitters are batting.292 with a 1.006 OPS against him. He also has 1,142 strikeouts in 976 innings since he debuted in 2002.

And now Rodriguez will try to turn the heads of Washington Nationals fans as he tries to yet again rebuild his career.

However, the Nationals bullpen has been the highlight of the team's recent struggles. Rather, he just needs to be effective and that can surely be done with some minor tweaks to his approach.

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