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Tag:Francisco Rodriguez
Posted on: February 8, 2011 10:52 pm
Edited on: February 8, 2011 10:52 pm
 

Bobby Parnell excited to set up

ParnellBobby Parnell is ready.

After hearing that manager Terry Collins expects Parnell to serve as setup man, the 26-year-old was quick to agree.

"I’m here to do that," Parnell told ESPN New York. "I’m here to be in the eighth inning and hand that ball to K-Rod. I’m excited for it. And to actually hear it come from Terry is a definite blessing, and I’m ready for it."

Parnell spent all of 2009 with the Mets, but posted a poor 5.30 ERA in 88 1/3 innings. He was demoted to Triple-A to start 2010, but was called up in late June to finish with a 2.83 ERA in 35 innings. His demotion did wonders for Parnell -- even if he disagreed with it -- as he cut his walks from 4.7 BB/9 in 2009 to 2.1. His strikeout rate also rose from 7.5 K/9 to 8.5.

"I didn’t want to be there, obviously," Parnell said of his demotion. "But it was also a learning experience to go back down there. So I felt like it was a little bit of pressure taken off to go down there and learn a couple of pitches and to work on my stuff. I took it and did what I had to do with it. I didn’t want to be there. I felt like I could have performed well in the major leagues."

Parnell did say his changeup and splitfingered fastball made strides in Triple-A as he was able to work on these pitches. He also located his fastball better (which his improved walk rates indicate), and the Mets certainly noticed by promoting him.

However, the club did err in Parnell's usage after Francisco Rodriguez was suspended for the rest of the season after getting into an altercation with his then-girlfriend's father. Rather than throw Parnell into the closer's role, the old regime turned to Hisanori Takahashi. The Japanese import was able to save eight games in an excellent season as a swingman, which drove up his price. He later left to the Angels, leaving the Mets without a fantastic left-handed pitcher and lingering questions about Parnell's ability to pitch late in games.

"It would have been a good experience," Parnell said. "I think it would have definitely helped going into this year. But looking back is 20/20. It wasn’t my decision then, and it worked out how it did. I just have to go in this year and do what I can."

K-Rod is a free agent after the season, so if Parnell comes through with a strong 2011, the Mets could very well make him their closer of the future.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb   on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: December 2, 2010 6:49 pm
 

Report: K-Rod to plead guilty

Francisco Rodriguez Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez will plead guilty to assault on Friday, the New York Daily News reports .

Citing sources, the newspaper says Rodriguez is unlikely to serve any jail time, butw ill attend anger management sessions as part of the plea bargain.

Rodriguez assaulted the father of his girlfriend at Citi Field in August of last season, when he reportedly pinned Carlos Pena to a wall and repeatedly punched him.

Rodriguez was suspended two days for the attack.

He still faces a civil lawsuit from Pena.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.


Category: MLB
Posted on: October 21, 2010 3:00 pm
 

K-Rod nearing return to mound

Francisco Rodriguez is ready to return to game action.

K-Rod, who recently came to a settlement with the Mets over the fracas that saw him tearing a ligament in his right thumb attacking his ex-girlfriend's father, threw 20 pitches in a bullpen session Wednesday.

The session was with the Venezuelan Winter League's Tiburones de La Guaira, the team Rodriguez will pitch for, as El Universal reports.

In a translation provided by MetsBlog , team traner Ramon Luna told El Universal that the pitcher is in good shape and feels no pain. While the VWL schedule is already underway, Luna expects Rodriguez to get into a game sooner rather than later.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .
Category: MLB
Posted on: October 19, 2010 3:24 pm
 

Rodriguez apologizes for actions, loses $3.14M

Francisco Rodriguez Francisco Rodriguez and the Mets have settled their grievance, and K-Rod will surrender the money lost while suspended after suffering a season-ending injury.

"As I have expressed in the past, I deeply regret the incident that occurred on August 11, 2010," Rodriguez said in a statement, referring to his violent confrontation with his ex-girlfriend's father.  "I sincerely apologize to Fred Wilpon, Jeff Wilpon and Saul Katz, Mets' fans, my teammates, and the entire Mets' organization. I have worked hard since the incident to make myself a better person and member of this organization.   I have been participating in an anger management program since August, and I will continue in the program for the foreseeable future.  I feel that anger management counseling is undoubtedly making me a better person and a better father, and will make me a better teammate and member of this great organization."

Rodriguez lost out on $3.14 million while suspended, a sum he said he would not challenge further, telling the MLBPA not to pursue the issue.
 
"Personally, in this situation, I do not feel that it is right for me to take a salary for the period of time in which I could not contribute as a player as a result of my off-field actions," he added.

Rodriguez will still have his $11.5 million salary for 2011 guaranteed. The Mets had attempted to convert his final guaranteed year into a non-guaranteed one, a move that was never going to survive. New York dropped that aspect of the punishment in exchange for the $3.14 million recouped from 2010.
 
"I want to put these issues behind me, and behind this organization and its fans," Rodriguez noted, who joined the Mets prior to the 2009 season and has racked up 60 saves between 2009 and 2010.

Rodriguez also is likely to reach a plea deal with prosecutors to have criminal charges dropped against him.

"I want my focus to be on my family, my team and being the best closer in baseball in 2011," Rodriguez said.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .
Category: MLB
Posted on: October 16, 2010 1:12 pm
 

K-Rod, Mets nearing settlement on suspension

Francisco Rodriguez The Mets and closer Francisco Rodriguez are nearing a settlement stemming from the club's suspension of Rodriguez in August.

Both sides were scheduled to have an arbitration hearing Monday, as the New York Daily News reports, but that meeting has been cancelled.

"The parties are in negotiation," a Mets spokesman said.

The cancellation likely means the Mets will be on the hook for K-Rod's full 2011 salary, which the team had converted to a non-guaranteed contract after Rodriguez allegedly struck his ex-girlfriend's father. He suffered a season-ending hand injury as a result.

When Rodriguez was suspended, he ended up losing just over $3 million in total salary. It's likely that the Mets will be able to retain some (if not all) of that salary in exchange for guaranteeing his contract for 2011.

K-Rod is due $11.5 million in 2011 with a $17.5 million vesting option.

The former Angels closer will still have to deal with the criminal charges in court, which seems to be nearing a plea deal as Rodriguez's lawyer indicated during a Oct. 6 hearing.
-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .
Category: MLB
Posted on: October 5, 2010 6:28 pm
Edited on: October 6, 2010 12:33 am
 

R.I.P. Mets: Team handicapped in payroll

RIP All eyes will be on eight teams starting Oct. 6 for yet another chapter of postseason baseball. As the sports world waits for the crowning of a new (or as the Yankees hope, repeat) champion, 22 other teams are busy preparing for spring training. What went wrong for these teams, and what does 2011 hold? MLB Facts and Rumors here at CBS Sports will be answering those questions through all of October. First up, the Mess -- er, Mets.

Since coming one game away from the NL pennant in 2006, the Mets have morphed into a squad of underperforming and overpaid players with controversy dogging the team every step of the way.

Owners Fred and Jeff Wilpon cleaned house as the 2010 season handed New York its second straight losing season. General manager Omar Minaya, despite a deal taking him through 2012, was shown the door along with skipper Jerry Manuel (the two are shown with Jeff Wilpon in the below picture to the right). The only problem? Minaya's maneuverings will handicap his successor for at least one season.

WHAT WENT WRONG

You name it and it happened in New York. Johan Santana fought off rape allegations prior to the season, posted his worst strikeout rate since 2001 and then went down with a shoulder injury that renders him questionable for 2011. Francisco Rodriguez also had his own problems with women, striking his (now ex-) girlfriend's father and being placed on the disciplined list. His return to the Mets is highly questionable even as he posted one of the better seasons of his career.

Neither Jason Bay or Carlos Beltran had lady troubles but they had injury troubles, with Bay's first year of a four-year, $66 million contract ending with just six home runs before a concussion ended his season. Beltran angered ownership by having unsanctioned knee surgery prior to the season, returning for an unsavory second half that has prompted calls for his trade.

Jerry Manuel, Jeff Wilpon, Omar Minaya Meanwhile, the onerous contracts of Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo just wouldn't go away. Perez constantly refused assignment to the minors and eventually became a mop-up reliever who only pitched on the road... all for $12 million. Luis Castillo spent the season becoming a bench player by the time for the low, low price of $6.25 million.

Let that be a lesson: Sign for lots of money with the Mets and expect that things will go very, very wrong for you.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

All was not lost in the Big Apple, however. Franchise star David Wright rebounded from 10 home runs in the inaugural season of Citi Field to bash 29 and cement his status as one of the best players in the game today.

Wright found a new person to throw to across the diamond as the Mets imported rookie Ike Davis after Mike Jacobs flamed out. Davis was promoted aggressively, debuting on April 19 and tossing up a .264/.351/.440 line in 601 PA, contributing 19 home runs. Along with Davis, youngster Josh Thole established himself as a permanent starter with the Mets. Thole will enter 2011 as the starting catcher and while he has no power to speak of, has enough contact and plate discipline skills to stick as a starter.

Meanwhile, Angel Pagan took the opportunity that Beltran's injury afforded him and ran with it to the point where many feel the switch-hitter should play center field with Beltran shifting to left in 2011. Pagan finished at .290/.340/.425 with 37 stolen bases in 633 PA.

The Mets also benefited from knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, originally signed as depth but exploding for a 2.84 ERA in 26 starts and one relief appearance. Dickey, at 35, has one more year of club control and should have a rotation spot locked up next season along with Jonathon Niese. Niese, 23, posted a 4.20 ERA in 30 starts in his first taste of full-time major league action.

HELP ON THE WAY

The Mets lost the services of Dan Murphy all season, but he should be back in action for 2011 and could be valuable to the Mets coming off the bench. While Murphy was slated to start at first base for the Mets in 2010, Davis (photo below, left) now has that position sewn up, and Murphy can't impede on Jason Bay's haunt. Thus, Murphy is learning to play second base and should compete for the position next season although it's more likely Murphy ends up a jack-of-all-trades, filling in all over the diamond.

More encouraging than Murphy's return is how well set-up the Mets seem to infuse young pitching into the team. Dillon Gee captured the hearts of headline writers across the nation while Bobby Parnell flashed heat that may make him the club's next closer. In addition, Jenrry Meija put aside an idiotic attempt to put him in the bullpen to return late in the year as a starter. Mejia may or may not open 2011 in the rotation, but his inclusion on the big-league roster will happen at some point in 2011 and put him on the fast track towards being a top pitcher.

EXPECTATIONS FOR 2011

The Mets will always expect to contend, especially with a payroll that will have no trouble clearing $100 million. Even if the Mets are spendthrifts, the 2011 payroll is already on the hook for at least $108 million guaranteed, although that's in actual payroll, not Collective Bargaining Agreement-payroll, used for the luxury tax, that calculates a contract's average annual value and not actual salary earned.

This mark is achieved using guaranteed salaries only, which means the payroll will take off once Jose Reyes' $11 million option is exercised and arbitration payouts roll in for Mike Pelfrey and Pagan -- plus the litany of other holes that need to be plugged. So yes, the Mets and its fans will expect to contend for a division crown. And really, with the talent on the team, there's no reason not to expect to be in the thick of things. Unfortunately, logic dictates that the Mets will finish around the .500 threshold, and expectations behind the scenes will reflect that.

With so much money committed to injured, questionable or dead weight players, the incoming general manager will be forced to hold the status quo with an eye towards a big impact and transition in 2012.

Ike Davis SUGGESTIONS FOR 2011

Even though the new general manager will have his or her hands tied for the most part, there are still two areas that need to be addressed if a dream season is to happen. The first is to get a capable second baseman and slot Tejada in the minors. There are three free-agent second basemen that could pan out include Bill Hall, Orlando Hudson and Juan Uribe. All are coming off solid seasons and will be affordable.

With Santana out for at least the first half, the Mets need to go after a solid starter to plug the breach behind Dickey, Niese, Pelfrey and likely Dillon Gee. The Mets shouldn't go crazy for a replacement, but could absolutely find a solid pitcher on a one-year deal. Jon Garland has done this in recent years and keeps throwing up value. Other names include Chris Young, who dominated for the Padres down the stretch after missing much of the season to injury.

Lastly, the bullpen needs to be addressed. Whether Francisco Rodriguez ends up back in Met threads or not, the Mets have no surefire options behind him unless one counts Bobby Parnell who should set up next season. Pedro Feliciano and Hisanori Takahashi are set to be free agents, while the rest of the relievers are flotsam.

The Mets need to go out and find someone with a history of closing but who is open to setting up as a way to minimize Rodriguez so his $17.5 million option does not vest. That includes players such as Octavio Dotel, Jon Rauch, Kerry Wood, J.J. Putz and Koji Uehara.

2011 PREDICTION

The Mets could surprise prognosticators next season if the new GM clears out the chaff and brings in depth at second and the bullpen. So much went wrong for the Mets that you have to bank on a regression to the mean making the club better. The Mets should hover over .500 and if just a few things break in their favor, could contend for a postseason spot.

-- Evan Brunell

Join MLB Facts and Rumors at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday to chat live during the Rangers-Rays game!

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .
Posted on: September 23, 2010 11:06 am
Edited on: September 23, 2010 11:15 am
 

K-Rod in court for criminal contempt charges

Francisco Rodriguez Francisco "K-Rod" Rodriguez was in court Wednesday to stand seven counts of criminal contempt charges after violating an order of protection barring him from contact with his (one must presume they are exes at this point) ex-girlfriend and children.

After Rodriguez's original altercation with his girlfriend that involved assaulting her father, Rodriguez was barred from contact with either Daian or Carlos Pena. Rodriguez then proceeded to send 56 (unanswered) text messages to Daian urging reconciliation.

But in court Wednesday, the prosecutor painted a picture of an abusive boyfriend, rather than one genuinely sorry for a one-time mistake.

"He's not naive and loving," New York ADA Scott Kessler told Queens justice Ira Margulis, according to the New York Daily News . "He's merely manipulating and controlling."

Kessler relayed that Rodriguez beat Daian Pena so savagely in 2005 that she had to be hospitalized in Venezuela. K-Rod smooth-talked his way into getting Pena to return to the United States after the incident, and there may have been another incident in California that prosecutors are looking into. Rodriguez' attorney denied both accounts.

Meanwhile, Mets GM Omar Minaya was caught off guard by the allegations, saying that nothing turned in a background check about the incident when Rodriguez was signed to a three-year, $37 million deal prior to the 2009 season.

In the texts, Rodriguez turned from reconciliation to blaming Pena for financial struggles, at one point saying "Thank you for sinking me and turning your back." He then inquired what the children would be told when old enough to hear that the reason the family has no money is because Pena "destroyed [his] career."

Possible career-destroying aside, Rodriguez has made roughly $43 million to date according to Baseball-Reference . No sympathy for him will be found from anyone financially -- the only one that can fritter away those millions is Rodriguez himself. He can set himself up for life starting today and make sure he, nor his children never want.

But of course, why would he think of that?

"The defendant in this case wanted to do what he wanted to do," Kessler added. "He's trying to control this victim and manipulate her."

Rodriguez posted $7,500 bail as his lawyer, Christopher Booth, professed that Rodriguez was simply misunderstood in his texts.

"There are no threats," Booth said. "He was professing love for his wife and children."

Booth then told reporters outside court that Rodriguez is trying to improve. "Mr. Rodriguez has been attending anger-management sessions, and that speaks volumes," he said.

While Rodriguez should be commended for attending anger-management sessions, that most certainly does not speak volumes about K-Rod. A novella, perhaps. Not volumes.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .
Category: MLB
Posted on: August 30, 2010 10:28 pm
 

Mets' Perez plays, allows a HR

Oliver Perez Oliver Perez's 25-game streak of games without an appearance ended Monday in Atlanta.

It was the longest such streak in the majors this season, according to Elias Sports Bureau, and it didn't take two pitches to remind Jerry Manuel why he hasn't called on the lefty more often as Brian McCann put Perez's second pitch deep into the right field seats.

In fairness, it was the only hit he gave up (along with two walks) in his inning of work. Perez's ERA now stands at 6.75.

The Mets new general manager will have to decide what to do about Perez after the season. He's owed $12 million for next season and that's a lot of money just to eat on a single player, but a roster spot for someone you're not going to use could end up costing much more than $12 million.

Of course, whoever that new GM is (and there's nothing definitely about Minaya yet, but if the writing isn't not he wall, Fred Wilpon certainly has the cap of the pen off as he sits in his stall deciding what to write) may be handcuffed with some of the worst contracts in baseball. The team will owe Carlos Beltran $18.5 million next season, Francisco Rodriguez is owed $11.5 million (plus has an option for 2012) and Jason Bay is singed through 2013 for nearly $60 million. The team also has to decide on Jose Reyes' $11 million option, though it's unlikely they'd decline it.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed .



 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com