Francisco Rodriguez, Relief Pitcher, Washington Nationals
Date of Birth: 1/7/1982
Birthplace: Caracas, Venezuela
Nickname: K-Rod, Frankie
Francisco Rodriguez, relief pitcher for the Washington Nationals, was first signed by the Los Angeles Angels in 1998. He was a starting pitcher in the Angels' minor league system from 1999 until 2002. He first joined the Angels for five games in 2002.
Rodriguez became the setup man for the Angels in 2003. That season, he pitched 86.0 innings in 59 games and he had a 3.03 ERA, an 8-3 win-loss record, and 2 saves. He had even better numbers in 2004, when he had a 1.82 ERA with 12 saves in 84.0 innings in 69 games.
In 2005, Rodriguez became the closer for the Angels. That season, he was the American League leader in saves with 45. The following season he was again the AL saves leader. He had 47 saves and a career low ERA of 1.73 in 2006. Two years later, he was the AL saves leader for the third time. In 2008, his 62 saves set an MLB record for the most saves in a single season.
Rodriguez signed a three-year, $37 million contract with the New York Mets in December, 2008. In his first season with the Mets, he had a 3.71 ERA with 35 saves in 70 games. After two and a half seasons with the Mets, he was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers in July, 2011. He then went back to being a setup man for the rest of the 2011 season. In January, 2012, he signed a one-year, $8 million contract with the Brewers but he stayed with them for just another half season before being traded to the Baltimore Orioles in July, 2013.
Rodriguez returned to the Brewers in February, 2014 when he signed a one-year contract with them. He finished the 2014 season with a 3.04 ERA and 44 saves in 68.0 innings in 69 games.
On February 27, 2015, Rodriguez signed a new two-year, $13 million contract with the Brewers. On August 19, 2015, he earned his 378th save and he became the saves leader for all active MLB players. He also earned spot seven on the all-time MLB saves leaders list. He finished the 2015 season with 38 saves, 62 strikeouts to 11 walks, and a 2.21 ERA in 57.0 innings in 60 games.
Rodriguez was traded to the Detroit Tigers on November 18, 2015. He pitched in 61 games in 2016 and he had a 3.24 ERA and 44 saves. In 58.1 innings, he gave up 45 hits and 24 runs and he struck out 52 batters and walked 21.
The Tigers picked up Rodriguez's option for 2017 on November 3, 2016. They released him on June 23, 2017. He signed a minor league contract with the Nationals on July 5th.
Statistics for Rodriguez in 15 seasons (2002-2016) in the major leagues include:
- 11 seasons with 60 or more games played, with a high of 78 in 2012
- 6 seasons with 40 or more saves, with a high of 62 in 2008
- 9 seasons with an ERA under 3.00, with a low of 1.73 in 2006
Career pitching statistics for Rodriguez through 2016 include:
- 920 games played
- 950.2 innings pitched
- 50-48 win-loss record
- 430 saves
- 1,119 strikeouts to 378 walks
- 2.73 ERA