After giving up at least one run in five of six consecutive appearances between the end of May and early June, Fernando Rodney lost his job as closer for the Mariners, giving way to Carson Smith. In the time since, Smith has done an admirable job, converting all five save opportunities.
Manager Lloyd McClendon, though, hopes Rodney pitches well enough to reclaim the closer’s role. Via Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune:
“My hope,” manager Lloyd McClendon said, “is Rodney becomes that lock-down ninth-inning guy again. I think we’re a better club if he’s in the ninth, Carson is in the eighth and (Mark) Lowe and (Charlie) Furbush in the seventh.
“It closes the gap tremendously.
“That’s my hope. But I don’t know if that’s going to happen or when it’s going to happen. For right now, we’ll keep doing what we’re doing. We’ve got to win ballgames.”
Rodney owns a 5.70 ERA on the year with a 26/15 K/BB ratio in 31 appearances, grabbing 15 saves in 18 opportunities.
Just week since he helped the Pirates avoid getting perfect-gamed by Max Scherzer and the Nationals, outfielder Jose Tabata has been designated for assignment, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports. It sounds like pitcher Chris Volstad is on his way out as well, while Steve Lombardozzi and Gorkys Hernandez are coming up from Triple-A Indianapolis.
Tabata, 26, hit .289/.341/.289 with four RBI in 41 plate appearances for the Pirates this season. Once a top prospect in the Yankees’ system, Tabata has yet to match expectations. He joined the Pirates in July 2008 along with Jeff Karstens, Ross Ohlendorf, and Daniel McCutchen when the Pirates sent Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte to the Bronx in a trade.
Though Tabata has utility and is only 26, he’s unlikely to be claimed on waivers as he’s owed the remainder of his $4.167 million salary plus $4.5 million next season and a $250,000 buyout for any of the 2017-19 seasons.
Update (9:31 PM EST): Cano does not have a concussion, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports. He’s day-to-day with a contusion on his forehead.
Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano was hit in the head with an errant warmup throw from an Angels infielder before the start of the bottom of the seventh inning of Saturday’s road game against the Angels. He was standing against the railing in the dugout at the time. With a big knot on his forehead, Cano was lifted from the game and replaced at second base by Willie Bloomquist.
On Twitter, Shannon Drayer of 710 AM KIRO said that Cano looked “very shaky” as he was being examined by the team trainer in the dugout. Cano is undergoing concussion protocol, Drayer notes, and the Mariners will proceed from there.
Cano was 0-for-3 on the evening before departing. He has yet to gather any momentum this season, currently batting .244/.281/.352 with four home runs and 24 RBI in 303 plate appearances.