Fernando Rodney’s deal with the devil has expired

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Fernando Rodney had one of the greatest reliever seasons in baseball history last year, breaking Dennis Eckersley’s all-time ERA record by saving 48 games with a 0.60 ERA in 74.2 innings for the Rays.

He allowed opponents to hit .167, struck out 9.2 batters per nine innings, and issued just 15 walks in 74.2 frames after a career filled with control problems.

Rodney hasn’t quite turned completely back into a pumpkin this season because he’s still holding opponents to a .211 batting average and has racked up 23 strikeouts in 15.1 innings, but his control has abandoned the 36-year-old right-hander and he’s coughing up runs in bunches.

In fact, after another ugly outing last night Rodney has already matched his 2012 totals for walks allowed (15) and runs allowed (9), and he’s nearly doubled his 2012 total for earned runs allowed (9 vs. 5). He’s gone from a 0.60 ERA in 74.2 innings to a 5.28 ERA in 15.1 innings, blowing three saves and taking two losses in his 16 appearances.

Just a friendly reminder that all deals with the devil expire after one season.

Brewers’ Julio Mendez remains hospitalized after hit by pitch

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Brewers’ minor league infielder Julio Mendez remains in “critical but stable condition,” club GM David Stearns announced Friday. Back in August, Mendez suffered a cardiac event after he was inadvertently struck by a ball from the Angels’ Austin Krzeminksi during a game between the rookie-level affiliates. The 20-year-old was removed to a Phoenix-area hospital for treatment following the incident and has recently been transferred to a hospital in his native Venezuela.

Mendez was in his fourth season with the Brewers’ organization. He spent the majority of his 2017 run with the rookie-level AZL Brewers, slashing .255/.294/.355 with 10 extra-base hits, 16 RBI and four stolen bases over 119 plate appearances. He currently holds a career .241/.324/.309 batting line, 33 extra bases and a .633 OPS through 668 PA.

Baseball is still on the back burner, however, as Mendez appears to have made little progress nearly a month following the hit by pitch. Thoughts go out to his family during this difficult time.

Brad Ausmus out as Tigers manager

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The Tigers just announced that they will not be bringing Brad Ausmus back as manager in 2018. His contract was going to be up at the end of this season and they have decided not to renew it. Ausmus and his staff will manage the club for the final week of the season.

In the press release announcing the move, Tigers GM Al Avila said “[a]s we transition the ballclub in a new direction, I feel it’s best that we have a new approach and a fresh start with the manager position.” He went on to praise Ausmus for “doing an admirable job under difficult circumstances, especially this season,” a clear reference to the club’s decision at mid-season to blow things up. Justin Verlander and J.D. Martinez were traded in July and August, as were some more minor players. The club is clearly embarking on a lengthy rebuild of which Ausmus, who was brought in four years ago to lead a contending team, will not be a part.

In his four seasons at the helm the Tigers are 312-325. He won 90 games and the AL Central in his first season in 2014, but the Tigers were swept out of the ALDS in three games. In the past three seasons they finished fifth, second and will either finish in fourth or fifth this year. Injuries and poor bullpens have been the biggest problem, but clearly this Tigers team was supposed to win more over the past four years.

It’s unclear what direction the Tigers will take in their managerial search, but it’s clear they’re going to go outside of the organization, as Avila said in his statement that the status of the current coaching staff will be contingent on the wishes of whatever new manager they hire.

Happy trails, Brad Ausmus. Baseball’s Most Handsome Manager is now Baseball’s Most Handsome Unemployed coach.