Detroit Tigers release Francisco Rodriguez, place Alex Presley on DL

The Francisco Rodriguez era is over in Detroit. The team announced multiple roster changes, most notably the release of the veteran closer.

Rodriguez pitched in Detroit’s 9-6 loss on Thursday against the Seattle Mariners, capping off a sweep at the hands of the M’s. The veteran reliever and active saves leader in baseball allowed a grand slam in the seventh inning on Thursday, which made it a 9-3 Seattle lead at the time.

MLB: Spring Training-New York Yankees at Detroit Tigers
Mar 4, 2017; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Francisco Rodriguez (57) throws a pitch during the fifth inning of an MLB spring training baseball game against the New York Yankees at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Rodriguez his last four times out logged 3.2 innings, allowing seven earned runs on seven hits, including three home runs allowed. Overall on the year’s he’s posted a 7.82 ERA in just 25.1 innings of work.

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Rodriguez recently voiced his displeasure not for his demotion from the closer’s role, but for citing a lack of communication with the Tigers’ coaches, namely manager Brad Ausmus. The skipper said he’s been wanting to ease Frankie into more high-leverage situations, given Rodriguez’s gradual improvement earlier this month. But the wheels fell off real quick and it made the decision for Detroit all that much easier following Frankie’s recent appearance.

As for Alex Presley, he is placed on the 7-day concussion disabled list, after colliding into the wall on Thursday trying to track down an eventual home run ball. Presley in 18 games since being called up was hitting .245 with a .649 OPS in a platoon role out in center field.

To take Rodriguez’s and Presley’s respective spots on the 25-man roster, Detroit is recalling hard-throwing reliever Bruce Rondon and purchasing the contract of veteran outfielder Matt den Dekker.

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Rondon opened the 2017 season in the Tigers’ bullpen, but lasted just three appearances (1.1 IP, 4 H, 6 ER) before being optioned back to Triple-A Toledo. He’s been solid in his 28 showings for the Mud Hens, compiling an ERA just barely over 3.00 in 26.2 innings pitched.

As for den Dekker, the 29-year-old is returning to the big leagues. den Dekker has played parts of four seasons (since 2013) in the majors, roughly a season’s worth of total games played (154). He’s a career .236 BA/.676 OPS hitter in those major league games with the Mets and Nationals.

den Dekker was signed by Detroit in mid-May after he was let go by the New Orleans Baby Cakes (not kidding on the name), the Triple-A affiliate for the Marlins, the team he opened the 2017 season for. He failed to make the Marlins’ big league club out of spring training and accepted the minor league assignment before ultimately exercising his opt-out clause.

For those unfamiliar with den Dekker and what he may or may not bring to the table, 2020 Baseball reporter Emily Waldon offers this comparison to a current Tiger.

Jim Adduci was serving the role that den Dekker will be serving for the foreseeable future, up until he was placed on the DL in early May.

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Written by Alex Muller

MSU Graduate. Just a city boy born and raised in south Detroit. Baseball is life, a pitcher at heart. Freelance writer for MIPrepZone (News-Herald, Press & Guide).

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