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.