Thursday, September 11, 2008

Angels Closer Francisco Rodriguez Overrated?

Even as Angels closer Francisco Rodriguez helped his team cinch a division title with his 56th save -- one shy of Bobby Thigpen's 1990 record -- the soon-to-be free agent's anticipated price tag has come under fire -- considering his six blown saves and various other shortcomings.

"Would you want to pay $15 million a year for a guy who doesn't pitch before the ninth inning (and) who has made the majority of his appearances with a lead of at least two runs in the ninth inning -- a comfort zone (in which) even average relievers will convert more than 90 percent?" asks Sports Illustrated's Tom Verducci.

Verducci sees closers such as K-Rod as being not altogether exceptional, and certainly more commonplace than one might expect.

"Not once in his 68 appearances this year has he obtained more than three outs. He never has pitched with his team trailing, and only five times has he pitched with the game tied, and only seven times did he enter with a runner on," Verducci noted.

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