Roenicke: K-Rod the closer for Wednesday

Brewers manager Ron Roenicke used closer John Axford for two innings of Tuesday’s extra-inning win over the Rockies at Miller Park, and made the point afterward that he’ll need Francisco Rodriguez to step in as closer on Wednesday.

Talk about timing.

During the late innings of the game, CBS Sportsline published a story in which Rodriguez expressed his strongest disappointment yet about pitching exclusively as a set-up man to Axford. When the Brewers traded for Rodriguez in July, they said he would get occasional save opportunities when Axford needed a break. Axford has converted all 19 of his save chances since then, and Rodriguez is still waiting for his first.

“I’m not fine,” Rodriguez told the website. “They told me I’d have the opportunity to close some games, and we’ve had 20-some save opportunities since then and I haven’t even had one.”

He said he was “disappointed” that he’s only pitched one ninth inning.

Rodriguez could get a chance on Wednesday. Axford is off-limits, Roenicke said, after pitching the ninth and 10th innings of a 2-1 win over Colorado decided on Ryan Braun’s walk-off home run.

It marked the first time this season that Roenicke let Axford pitch more than one inning. Last year, Axford had nine saves of four or more outs.

Why did Roenicke feel comfortable this time?

“Eight pitches,” he said, referring to Axford’s workload in the ninth. “That’s why. Tomorrow, he’s off, and then [Thursday] is an offday. We knew if he went two [innings] today, he’d have two days off. I certainly don’t like to do that much late in the season, but we have Frankie as our closer tomorrow. We went for it.”

Roenicke saw no discernable difference between Axford’s first inning and his second.

“He maintained his stuff,” Roenicke said. “We’ve talked about doing that with him before, and all the times before he’s had 12-15 pitches and he says he’s fine to go another inning and I haven’t felt comfortable doing it. I did today.”

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9 Comments

Get k rod off the team if he is in it for being some star then get him off he is horrible way to be a team player! NOT!

I’m sorry that K-Rod feels so bad about being the set-up man for a winning team, behind a closer that has been rock solid even before the trade was made. When the closer is in the zone, you don’t change things. Brewers manager knows that. My suggestion to K-Rod is to enjoy the ride and sign somewhere else when the season is finally over.

, will call them out on it eventually and that pnrsoes reputation will end up down the bog for some time. As I said in the blog, I’ve had the odd free beer but I’ve tried to be as honest as possible about each one – knowing that other bloggers/ploggers/vloggers may have made the same mistake you admitted to. Great podcast. Cheers.

I agree with both of these comments!! No need for an individual that wants to make a name for himself. We’re the Brewers, not the k-rods. Wise up!

An H on the scorecard is just as important as a SV. K-Rod has been a much need late-inning improvement, but Axford has been stellar and, though ERA isn’t the best factor to evaluate pitching, he’s almost down to the 1′s.

k-rod is mad because he will not get his bonus for saves this year. but last time I checked, teams that win the world series tend to get a bonus from the club. I don’t think he would had many save opprotunites in New York after the trade anyway. Play the cards your delt with bro and win a the series.

He doesn’t get a bonus anyways. We restructured his contract.

K-Rod: STFU and do your job. You are paid well enough to play nice and not start some sh*t while we are in the middle of a serious run.

I can understand why K-Rod would be a little upset if management told him he would have opportunities to save games, which probably had some influence on why he reworked his contract.

However, it is disappointing that he is making these comments and is overly upset about it. It shows he isn’t a complete team player and almost shows more concern about his individual success than team success. He is obviously one of the better closers in the game, but he isn’t what he used to be and his numbers show this compared to the past. I don’t think he realizes that no team would have played him all the necessary games for him to get his bonus. Also, other than maybe one or two teams, all the contenders have good closers. It would have been very hard for him to find a team that competes for the postseason and also has him close.

Personally, I’m irritated that Axford will not be the closer for Wednesday.
Maybe RR is just trying to placate krod. hopefully, the Brewers will have a big enough lead that they do not need to use him. Krod has blown 3 saves just in the short period he has been with the Brewers.

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