Rodney added to AL All-Star team
Mariners closer Fernando Rodney, who leads the American League with 27 saves and has helped solidify the league’s best bullpen with his 1.98 ERA in 38 appearances, was added to the American League All-Star team on Saturday as the replacement for Rays starter David Price.
“I’m going to have fun. I’ll throw my arrow. No matter what inning I pitch, I’ll throw it,” said Rodney, who pulls out his imaginary bow after every save.
Price originally was slated to throw Saturday, but was pushed back to Sunday due to illness and thus opted out of Tuesday’s All-Star Game in order to avoid pitching on just one day’s rest.
Rodney drew the call from Red Sox manager John Farrell, giving the Mariners four All-Star representatives as he joins Felix Hernandez, Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager to give Seattle its largest contingent since five Seattle players were chosen in 2003.
“When you see something happen like that, you have to understand what’s going on,” Rodney said of his late addition. “I knew I had maybe the numbers to be there. I’m happy to be there with that group of people.”
The AL squad now includes six relievers, as Rodney joins Kansas City’s Greg Holland (24 saves, 1.87 ERA), Minnesota’s Glen Perkins (22 saves, 3.05 ERA), Oakland’s Sean Doolittle (13 saves, 2.98 ERA), New York’s Dellin Betances (1 save, 1.46 ERA) and Boston’s Koji Uehara (18 saves, 1.65 ERA), who was added to the team to take the place of injured Yankees starter Yasahiro Tanaka.
Rodney was also an All-Star in 2012 with the Rays when he had 25 saves and a 0.93 ERA at the break on the way to a career-best 48-win, 0.60 ERA season when he was AL Comeback Player of the Year and finished fifth in the Cy Young voting.
That year, he accompanied Price as the Rays’ representatives. This year, he’s replacing his former teammate.
“He gave me a break,” Rodney said. “I love him.”
Rodney’s 27 saves are the most for any Mariner closer prior to the All-Star break, with Kazahiro Sasaki having 29 in 2001 on the way to his franchise-record 45 in that 116-win season.
The 2003 Mariners team landed five All-Stars with Ichiro Suzuki, Edgar Martinez, Jamie Moyer, Shigetoshi Hasegawa and Bret Boone. Since then, the most Seattle selections until this was three in 2011 when Hernandez, Brandon League and Michael Pineda made the team.