Francisco Rodriguez knew he’d be used as a setup man when the Brewers traded for him, but the longtime closer apparently expected to get at least the occasional save chance.
Instead the Brewers have yet to give him a ninth-inning save opportunity, sticking with John Axford at all times, and Rodriguez told Scott Miller of CBSSports.com that he’s disappointed:
I’m not fine. They told me I’d have the opportunity to close some games, and we’ve had 20-some save opportunities since then and I haven’t even had one. I’m a little disappointed in that, but that’s something that’s out of my hands.
Meanwhile, as Miller points out since the trade Rodriguez has made a total of 24 appearances and Axford has had 19 save chances. Axford has stayed healthy and has converted a team record 39 straight saves, which hasn’t left the window open for Rodriguez even a crack.
In fairness to Rodriguez there’s a big difference between expressing frustration about his lack of save chances and actually letting that impact his performance or demeanor. Axford told Miller that Rodriguez “has been great” and there’s no indication that Rodriguez’s unhappiness has kept him from doing his best in the setup role, where he’s thrown 23 innings with a 2.31 ERA and 24/9 K/BB ratio.
As an impending free agent Rodriguez should have little problem securing a multi-year deal to resume closing elsewhere next season.