July 27, 2008
Jim Leyland apparently has had enough of Todd Jones blowing games, because he announced a closing change in Detroit today.
And here's the hook - it's not Joel Zumaya getting the ball.
Fernando Rodney, who's ownership level doesn't show under an electron microscope, has been given the ninth inning for the time being, Leyland said before Sunday's ballgame. Rodney's seasonal stats are pretty messy, but he's thrown the ball well in recent appearances since coming off the disabled list. Check what he's done over the last month: 13.2 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 5 BB, 12 K.
Update: As it turns out, Sunday's game took a funky turn. Zumaya got hurt in the eighth inning (triceps, considered minor) and Rodney replaced him, in a non-save situation. The results weren't initially pretty: two walks and a hit before he got the final two outs. Rodney stayed for the ninth and struck out the side (showing a fastball in the mid-to-high 90s), but he struggled with command all day and needed 42 pitches for his stint. By default, Jones would probably have to close Monday if the Tigers have a late lead at Cleveland.
What does it all mean? Grab Rodney if you're a save-chaser, but keep your expectations very low.