Addition of K-Rod gives Orioles big-time bullpen

Addition of K-Rod gives Orioles big-time bullpen
July 23, 2013, 9:15 pm
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Os make bold move, add K-Rod to 'pen

The Orioles are getting one of the best relievers in recent years in Francisco Rodriguez. The K-Rod the Orioles acquired on Tuesday night isn’t the guy who once saved 62 games or the one who had an incredible 13.2 strikeouts per nine innings.

Rodriguez is still good. He’s not likely to replace Jim Johnson as the closer, but he gives manager Buck Showalter another late-inning option.

With Tommy Hunter shaky in his last few outings, Rodriguez can be a set-up man for Johnson, who’s saved a major league best 35 this year.

Darren O’Day will still be on hand, and so will Hunter. That makes four right-handers with different repertoires. When Rodriguez reports, the Orioles are likely to option Jairo Asencio to Norfolk.

They have three left-handers with Brian Matusz, Troy Patton and T.J. McFarland.

Rodriguez is a four-time All-Star and has led the American League in saves three times. This year, Rodriguez’s WHIP is 1.054, his lowest since 2004.

Nick Delmonico, the 21-year-old Frederick third baseman who was traded to Milwaukee for Rodriguez is a legitimate prospect. He has power, speed and while he hasn’t hit for average, Delmonico has strong on-base numbers.

The Orioles were able to trade for a first-rate reliever, whose $8 million contract expires at the end of the season, for a decent, but not upper-echelon prospect.