Rodriguez getting used to new role with Orioles
SAN FRANCISCO -- Francisco Rodriguez has made just six appearances since he was acquired July 23, and the right-hander said he's made a few adjustments to help keep his workload steady.
Rodriguez, picked up to be another late-inning option for Orioles manager Buck Showalter, has allowed four runs over six innings and is coming off a pair of scoreless outings.
"I've had a few bumps my first couple games. I didn't feel like my command was there, but lately I've picked it up," said Rodriguez, who was dealt by Milwaukee for infield prospect Nick Demonico. "I'm the type of pitcher who when I pitch more I feel better. Obviously, with the workload, I know my time is going to come."
"He's capable of more. That's what we liked about him," Showalter said of getting more work for Rodriguez. "I don't call it a luxury. It's a need. Every club has to have more guys that are capable of pitching. He defends himself well against left-handers. The last 40 or so some-odd games, he's going to be a piece. I'm glad to have him here. I'm comfortable with him.
"We're able to spread the load around, as you can tell, between Darren [O'Day], Tommy [Hunter] and him. All of them defend themselves fairly well against left-handers. It's actually cut in against some of the left-handers' time."
Showalter is meticulous about how he uses his bullpen, and the O's relief corps has been fantastic the past two seasons. The addition of a veteran like Rodriguez, who is no stranger to the rigors of a playoff race, only helps, with the 31-year-old agreeing this is the best 'pen he's been a part of.
"It's the first time I've been in a bullpen where we've got three lefty guys," said Rodriguez, in his 12th Major League season. "Usually it's just one or two, but we've got a long man [in T.J. McFarland ] and [Troy] Patton and [Brian] Matusz. It gives you a lot of balance and it's going to make it difficult for the opposing team when we get to the sixth and seventh [innings]."