Mariano Rivera tore the ACL in his right knee shagging fly balls at Kaufmann Stadium last year, forcing him onto the DL for the rest of the season and putting his future in doubt. Now back in action and as strong as ever — the right-hander has a 1.88 ERA and 13 saves in as many opportunities — he returns to the scene of the crime as the Yankees have begun a three-game set in Kansas City.
Paying homage to Rivera, Kaufmann Stadium playfully labeled the warning track a “No Mo Zone”.
The Fernando Rodney Experience hasn’t been a good one for the Twins thus far. The veteran closer served up three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to the Yankees on Thursday afternoon, erasing a 4-1 lead and blowing his third save in five opportunities.
In the ninth, Didi Gregorius reached on a throwing error by Miguel Sano. Giancarlo Stanton then singled, and Gary Sanchez followed up with a walk-off three-run home run.
Rodney, 41, now sports a 6.75 ERA on the year. He inked a one-year, $4.5 million contract with the Twins back in December. The club has an option for next year worth $4.25 million. If things keep going the way they’re going, the Twins aren’t going to want to pick up that option.
The Twins may even want to think about moving Ryan Pressly or Addison Reed into the closer’s role, even if just temporarily. Pressly has been terrific, tossing 13 scoreless innings with 18 strikeouts. Reed has a 2.25 ERA with 12 strikeouts in 12 innings.