Blog Entry

K-Rod says he's OK with Brewers role

Posted on: August 19, 2011 7:41 pm
 
NEW YORK -- The idea was that Scott Boras could sell Francisco Rodriguez this winter as the best closer on the free-agent market.

The problem right now is that K-Rod isn't even a closer at all for the Brewers. In fact, since the All-Star night trade that sent him from the Mets to the Brewers, Rodriguez hasn't had a single ninth-inning save opportunity.

But with the Brewers winning and with closer John Axford near-perfect, Rodriguez isn't complaining.

"When I came here, I was told I was going to be closing some games," Rodriguez said Friday. "Unfortunately, I haven't gotten opportunities, but the good thing is that it's because Ax is doing a great job. He's got something good going on.

"I didn't want to come here and mess up the chemistry they'd developed since spring training."

Rodriguez has a 2.03 ERA in 14 appearances for the Brewers, pitching mostly in the eighth inning as Axford's setup man. The additions of Rodriguez and Takashi Saito, who came off the disabled list, have made the Brewers bullpen one of the more effective ones in baseball.

Rodriguez had a $17.5 million contract option that was set to vest at 55 games finished, but shortly after the trade to the Brewers, Boras negotiated a buyout of the option. That cleared the way for the Brewers to use K-Rod as a closer, but Axford has been so effective that it hasn't happened.

Rodriguez said he wasn't concerned that the lack of closing chances would hurt him on the market.

"I've done it for so many years," he said. "By now, teams know what I'm capable of."

He also said that he expects to get some save opportunities between now and the end of the season. Brewers manager Ron Roenicke agreed that there will likely be days when he uses K-Rod as closer.
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