Rodney was released by the Astros on Wednesday, Jake Kaplan of The Athletic reports. The veteran right-hander signed a minor-league deal at the end of July and was throwing at the team's alternate training site, but he won't be making his way to the majors. It would be Rodney's 18th major-league season if he manages to make it onto a big-league roster in the final month of the season.
Rodney signed a minor-league contract with the Astros on Friday, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports. The 43-year-old spent most of 2019 with Washington and had a 4.05 ERA, 1.35 WHIP and 35:16 K:BB over 33.1 innings, and he remained unsigned throughout the elongated offseason. It would be Rodney's 18th season in the big leagues should he make his way to the major-league roster.
Rodney worked both ends of Wednesday's doubleheader against the Rockies, tossing two scoreless innings and recording two holds while allowing a hit and a walk. He struck out one. The right-hander now has a 2.79 ERA with two saves and six holds in 11 appearances since joining the Nationals, although Rodney's 1.55 WHIP and 9:5 K:BB in 9.2 innings indicates how fragile his success has been. Don't be surprised if the 42-year-old loses his setup spot in front of Sean Doolittle to a trade deadline acquisition.
Rodney worked around two hits in a scoreless ninth inning against the Marlins on Thursday en route to his second save of the season. The 42-year-old has found new life with Washington, as he's now turned in four straight scoreless appearances with two saves, a hold and four strikeouts since joining the Nationals at the end of June. He had a 9.42 ERA and 2.23 WHIP in 17 appearances with the A's before being released. Per Jesse Dougherty of The Washington Post, manager Dave Martinez said Rodney is "going to be the guy" when regular closer Sean Doolittle is unavailable.
Rodney struck out two in a perfect ninth inning Friday to record his first save of the season in a 3-1 win over the Tigers. With Sean Doolittle having pitched the last two days, Nats manager Dave Martinez turned to Rodney and his 325 career saves to close things out, and the 42-year-old came through with No. 326. The right-hander was awful earlier in the year for Oakland, but he's seemed washed up before only to bounce back. Don't be shocked if Rodney puts together a solid second half in a setup role for Washington.
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