Monday, May 14, 2012

Davey on H-Rod: "Yes, he's my closer"

US Presswire photo
Henry Rodriguez has blown three of his last six save opportunities.
Davey Johnson gave an emphatic vote of confidence for Henry Rodriguez, insisting he has given no consideration to removing the 25-year-old from the closer's role despite three blown saves in his last six chances.

"Is he still my closer? Yes, he's my closer," the Nationals manager said during his pregame media session, even though he wasn't directly asked the question. "He's been very successful at closing, in a job that's not that easy. As far as I'm concerned, he's been great. There's going to be a little growing pains."

Thrust into the ninth-inning role after both Drew Storen and Brad Lidge suffered injuries, Rodriguez was successful in his first five save opportunities this season. But beginning with a meltdown April 28 at Dodger Stadium and culminating with a walk-off grand slam surrendered to Joey Votto yesterday in Cincinnati, Rodriguez now finds himself in a funk.

Perhaps most disturbing about Rodriguez's recent performances has been a consistent pattern in which he looks shaky from the moment he takes the mound and has a tendency to bounce most of his sliders in the dirt.

Johnson, though, pointed to Rodriguez's inexperience in the role -- he was used in the ninth inning of a close game for the first time last September, successfully converting two save opportunities -- and the importance of staying patient with a young reliever.

"Here's a guy that just last year, I think he got his first save in the big leagues," the manager said. "And this year, he's been outstanding. He had an outstanding spring. I'm not going to answer these questions every time there's a little blip on the radar screen. Is he my closer? Yes, he's my closer. I have all the confidence in the world."

The Nationals figure to need Rodriguez for at least another month as both Storen (elbow) and Lidge (hernia) recover. Each right-hander has begun playing catch on flat ground, and Lidge is shooting for a mid-June return.

In the meantime, the veteran reliever is trying to offer as much moral support as he can, even though that wasn't possible Sunday as he watched Rodriguez's implosion from afar.

"It's real tough," Lidge said. "I was watching the game last night, and I was yelling at the TV sometimes. Just because I know how hard it is. Because we've all been there. Anyone who has pitched the ninth inning has been there. You just want to be able to yell out advice on the fly, but you can't do it."

And what did Lidge yell at the TV?

"Get the guys out before Votto gets up," he said with a laugh.

24 comments:

JamesFan said...

I'm with Davey on this one. Henry will be fine and possibly dominant on a constant basis. I do not think the Nats should be jumping around looking for a closer. Henry can do the job.

Gonat said...

Davey has 24 other players to think of plus ownership, management and the fan base. He did something similar with Danny Espinosa and it finally paid dividends BUT AT WHAT PRICE? Lombo was HOT and could have stepped in after Zim came back but the big difference here is a closer is your last line of defense, Espinosa was not.

Davey is doing it "his way". That's fine, live by the sword or die by the sword. It better work out but like I said last night, if you aren't at a success rate -over- 4 out of 5 "saves" you are hurting your team. HRod is below that.

Section 222 said...

"John's my guy." Until he's not.

"Henry's my closer." Until he's not

Unknown said...

How much longer does Davey say "I'm fine" with his inconsistent closer imploding on the mound? If the Nats have such an "outstanding" pitching staff, then there MUST have been SOMEONE to come in and "save HRod from himself!" I'm so tired of hearing, "it's early yet." These games count, just like they do in September, and if the Nats miss the playoffs by a game or two, all you "the glass is half full" types will look back at these games and cry!

Ron In Reston said...

Section 222 said...

"Henry's my closer." Until he's not

Which will be when Storen returns

Unknown said...

Hey Ron, let's just hope that by the time Storen returns "sometime" in June, the Nats won't be 10 games out of first.

rdexposfan said...

Henry is the closer until Lidge and Storen are back. As I posted on a previous thread the LA Dodgers closer Javy Guerra line is the same as HRod 8 SV 3 BS and a higher ERA 4.80 vs 4.70.

natsfan1a said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JayB said...

This is just like Lannan is my 5th starter...no question....DJ is not known for his honesty....he is just trying to build him up....DJ should make Craig S the closer if winning games is the focus.....and if it is not then what is the point of having DJ the manager.....He will be gone by the time Henry develops into a MLB ready closer.

baseballswami said...

Again - just because someone is the MAIN, substitute closer, doesn't mean he has to trot out there every single solitary game. I mean, what if we need a closer 6 times in a row? Then doesn't someone else need to be able to close once in a while? By the way, if we are ahead in 6 games in a row in the ninth inning I would be so happy! Playing baseball tonight? These guys are going to grow webbed feet.

natsfan1a said...

(Edited due to typos.)

Hey, maybe I could be a mentor, because I sometimes yell at the tv set, too! Nah, I think I'll leave that to the pros. Now that the team is home, Lidge and Drew can do it in person. :-)

Also, Davey's forgotten more baseball than I'll ever learn, so I'm gonna trust his judgement.

"It's real tough," Lidge said. "I was watching the game last night, and I was yelling at the TV sometimes. Just because I know how hard it is. Because we've all been there. Anyone who has pitched the ninth inning has been there. You just want to be able to yell out advice on the fly, but you can't do it."

Ghost Of Steve M. said...


Rdexposfan May 14, 2012 6:05 PM

Henry is the closer until Lidge and Storen are back. As I posted on a previous thread the LA Dodgers closer Javy Guerra line is the same as HRod 8 SV 3 BS and a higher ERA 4.80 vs 4.70


Really??? Last week Mattingly replaced Guerra with Jannsen.

Gonat said...

rdexposfan said...
Henry is the closer until Lidge and Storen are back. As I posted on a previous thread the LA Dodgers closer Javy Guerra line is the same as HRod 8 SV 3 BS and a higher ERA 4.80 vs 4.70.

May 14, 2012 6:05 PM
__________________________

You didn't mean to prove the point but you just did. The 1st place Dodgers replaced Guerra with Kenly Jansen.

Maybe you want to repost a 3rd time and get your facts correct.

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/jansen-replaces-guerra-dodgers-closer-070029880--mlb.html

John said...

To be fair, it was Joey Votto, a perennial MVP candidate who was having a career day. At least it wasn't some .150-hitting, free swinger like Rod Barajas...

Wait a minute...

Gonat said...

John, to be fair, Votto shouldn't have seen the batter's box in the 9th inning. He was scheduled to be the 6th batter of the inning. Henry had to go through the bottom of the order which is what you hope for.

Barajas was also bottom of the order and the blown save vs. the Dodgers was Ellis who replaced the #5 hitter who was injured then the #6 and #7.

None of these blown saves were against the top of the order until yesterday when Henry couldn't get out the bottom 3.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

John at 6:38 "To be fair"? Did you watch the game? If Henry did his job, Votto wouldn't have picked up a bat in the 9th.

Ghost Of Steve M. said...

Gonat, sorry, just saw your comment. I sometimes think people comment off of watching highlights on ESPN.

Section 3, My PFB Hitterish Sofa said...

I thought you *were* a mentor, 1a.

mick said...

In a funny way, i could see Henry getting the Nats back to 500, lol

mick said...

In a funny way, i could see Henry getting the Nats back to 500, lol

NatsFanJim said...

I guess Davey can't see what the rest of the baseball world can see: HRod is a head case who is not a closer.

Is there a problem with Clip closing? If there is, please tell me. Clip is the perfect closer. Davey, you are a complete idiot.

NatsFanJim said...

I like the brilliance of Davey when he told HRod that 8/10 saves is good -- now it's 8/11.

I thought Davey got a B.A. in math --

At a 8/10 rate, Hrod, given 50 closing chances would blow 10 games. Does anyone think you can give away 10 games in the any division, let alone the National East, and still make the playoffs?

Davey, you are a complete idiot.

NatsFanJim said...

To JamesFan:

Hrod is not doing the job. He has blown 8/11 -- and they have been very, very ugly.

He's worth 10 blown saves a year given a full season. He's a head case who is showing that he can''t deal with any extraordinary circumstances at all: baserunners, rain, muddy mounds. Hrod is a good 7th inning man -- perhaps -- but he is proving beyond any doubt: He is not a closer.

natsfan1a said...

Have to say that, while I really felt for Henry at getting pulled tonight, I was also glad Davey did so. Thank goodness Burnett saved the day.

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