Do you ever just break down and thank the universe for putting you on earth at the same time as Fernando Rodney? I sure do. At the ripe old age of 42, Rodney is still making hitters look foolish. This changeup has not registered a whiff rate below 40% since 2010, when Rodney was just entering his second prime at 33 years old.
Rodney’s fastball was hit hard in 2019. Its exit velocity was a hair below 90 mph, while only registering a 16.9 whiff rate.
After taking a four-year hiatus from using his slider, Rodney brought it back into the fold in 2017. It is honestly wicked and should become a bigger part of his repertoire, with only 3.3% usage in 2019, moving forward.
Rodney’s sinker was a slightly below-average pitch in 2018. He only got batters to swing and miss 5.4% of the time while allowing above-average contact on the pitch both in and out of the strike zone. Rodney did produce an above-average percentage of ground balls with it but could not avoid the long ball, allowing a 21.7% HR/FB rate. He also had a hard time throwing the pitch for strikes, allowing a 10.4% walk rate and an OBP of .385.
The changeup was Rodney’s most dominant pitch in 2018. He used it as his strikeout offering, producing an outstanding 22.6% swinging-strike rate and 39.7% K rate, while limiting batters to a .076 ISO and a 6.8% walk rate. Batters posted below-average contact rates on the pitch both inside and outside the strike zone, and Rodney was also able to get batters to chase the pitch, as he only threw it in the strike zone 35% of the time.
Rodney’s four-seam fastball was a bit of an odd pitch. It graded out as a below-average offering. However, all the metrics suggest it should have been at least average if not slightly above average. He limited batters to league-average levels of contact (LD/GB/FB%), produced an above-average 11.3% swinging-strike rate, and amassed an excellent 35.7% K rate. Rodney also held batters to a low .103 ISO and allowed below-average contact on the pitch both inside and outside the strike zone. The one thing Rodney could not do with the pitch, and the reason it grades out as below average overall, is throw strikes. He produced an extremely high 17.1% walk rate with the fastball and was barely average at throwing the pitch for a strike, as only 129 of 231 four-seamers were strikes.