Since the 2005 MLB campaign, Francisco Rodriguez has only went two seasons without recording at least 20-plus saves in a season. He’s been a model of consistency at the back-end of a bullpen. Back in 2008, Rodriguez set the major league single season record for most saves in a season. He tallied 62 total saves for the Los Angeles Angels and finished third in the American League Cy Young voting. His career numbers are summed up in one word, solid. Rodriguez’s career ERA currently sits at 2.70, his WHIP is 1.14, he’s recorded well over 1,000 career strikeouts and thrown 922 innings.
On May 24, 2016, K-Rod joined an elite club when he recorded his 400th career save, becoming only the 6th player in MLB history to do so. Since 2009, there have been five different names that have tried their hand at the closer role for the Tigers. Rodriguez was brought in this past off-season after being acquired from the Milwaukee Brewers to put an end to that and give the Tigers their first reliable closer in quite sometime. He’s done nothing but that since putting on a Tigers uniform.
This season, Rodriguez has 23 saves, which is top five in the major leagues and is holding opposing batters to a very respectable .215 average. K-Rod doesn’t have the mid-90’s fastball that he had early in his career, but he still possesses an extremely nasty changeup. Being thrown 41% of the time when on the mound, the pitch has become Rodriguez’s ‘out’ pitch as he’s relied heavily on it in 2016 thus far. Francisco Rodriguez is projected to tally 38 total saves for the Tigers for the rest of the season. It would mark the eighth time in his career where he saved 30-plus games. The last time Detroit had a closer rack up 30-plus saves was back in 2012 when Jose Valverde had 35.
It’s nice to finally have someone reliable who comes out of the bullpen once the 9th inning approaches. Not having to prep ourselves with having our thumb on the remote control’s ‘channel up/down’ or ‘last’ button in that regard is a welcomed sight.