Francisco Rodriguez will be flying high for the remainder of the Major League Baseball season…
In an effort to bolster their bullpen, the Baltimore Orioles acquired the 31-year-old Venezuelan pitcher from the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday for minor league infielder Nick Delmonico.
“We’re not playing for (anything) here. But going there now, every game is going to count. I’ve got to be on top of my game now and help them out,” said Rodriguez.
Baltimore started the day 2½ games behind the first-place Boston Red Sox in the AL East. Looking for their second straight playoff appearance, the third-place Orioles had a 1½-game lead over Texas Rangers for the final AL wild-card spot.
“We were trying to upgrade the pitching to give us a chance to make the run for the AL (East) title and the pennant. So we did what we had to do to help the team now, and we have enough players having good years at the plate,” Orioles vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said.
“Nick Delmonico shows a lot of promise as a hitter, but the major league club needed a little more depth for our pitching staff to accomplish what we want to accomplish this year.”
K-Rod was one of the game’s best relievers during his time with the Los Angeles Angels, saving a major league-record 62 games in 2008. He later spent three seasons as a closer with the New York Mets that are remembered mostly for an alleged assault of his girlfriend’s father at the ballpark.
Rodriguez has revitalized his career the past three years in Milwaukee, going 1-1 with 10 saves and a 1.09 ERA in 25 appearances this season.
“I think he’s the kind of guy that can be a difference-maker,” said Brewers general manager Doug Melvin. “When you get into postseason or you get into pennant races in August and September, you always need more than one guy that can pitch in the ninth inning. He’s capable of doing that.”