Francisco Rodriguez has gone from closing in New York to setting up in Milwaukee.
K-Rod, who had 23 saves in 26 opportunities for the Mets, was acquired by the Brewers with cash for two players to be named, the team announced after Tuesday’s All-Star Game.
“Francisco has been one of the best relievers in the game for many years,” Brewers GM Doug Melvin said in a statement. “He is a high-quality arm who will be a tremendous asset to our bullpen as we prepare for the final months of the regular season and playoffs.”
The assumption is that Rodriguez didn’t have the Brewers on his no-trade list and thus couldn’t block the deal that almost certainly will prevent his $17.5 million option for 2012 from vesting.
Rodriguez’s option would kick in with 55 games finished this year, which is the big reason the Mets wanted to move him. The Brewers won’t want to be responsible for that kind of payout, so they’ll use him as an eighth-inning guy in front of John Axford for the remainder of the season and then likely let him leave in free agency.
The Mets figure to turn to Bobby Parnell in the closer’s role as K-Rod’s replacement. The hard-throwing Parnell, who has one career save to Rodriguez’s 291, has a 2.92 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 24 2/3 innings this season.
In theory, Rodriguez’s addition will give the Brewers a pair of dominant right-handers at the end of games. However, it remains to be seen how K-Rod will react to the move. He surely would have preferred to remain a closer and probably only partly for financial reasons. It’s the first time in seven years that he’ll have had to work in a setup role. In fact, he hasn’t recorded a single hold since 2004.
Fans, and even some writers, tend to jump on umpires when they make bad calls, but rarely if ever point out when they make good calls on tough plays. Angel Hernandez is one of those umpires who gets a lot of flack — and I may suggest even deservedly so — but in the interest of giving credit where credit is due, he made a great call on a very tough play during Thursday afternoon’s game between the Phillies and Marlins.
With a runner on first base and two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning with the Phillies leading 2-1, first baseman Brock Stassi laced an Edison Volquez pitch down the first base line. Michael Saunders, who was on first base, came around third base and attempted to score. The relay throw from second baseman Dee Gordon beat Saunders, but Saunders slid expertly to the back of home plate, avoiding the tag from catcher J.T. Realmuto just long enough to slip his hand in and touch the plate. Hernandez ruled Stassi safe with no hesitation because he was in a great position to get a look at the play. In real time, it was a bang-bang play. The Marlins didn’t challenge the call.
The MLB.com video doesn’t have the best angle, but still shows what a close call it was in real time. This .gif from Meghan Montemurro of The News Journal provides the best angle:
Hernandez also made this nonchalant grab when catcher Andrew Knapp tossed it attempting to catch a foul pop-up:
The Mets and Braves are playing today and it’s not a great day for the Mets in the injury department.
First they scratched Noah Syndergaard with a “tired arm.” Now they’ve lost Yoenis Cespedes, who pulled up limping at second base following a double in the bottom of the fourth:
The team has announced that he has pulled his left hamstring.
Cespedes, of course, missed three games over the weekend due to hamstring issues. That was merely tightness, however, and following an off day and a rainout, Cespedes played last night without incident. But it now looks as though he’s going to miss some serious time.