Good morning everyone and welcome to the Monday edition of Brewer Daily News. When the Milwaukee Brewers structured a deal with closer Francisco Rodriguez earlier in the 2013 season, many questions were instantly asked such as “why would they need him” and “what good could he possibly do after 2012’s disaster?”
Soon, the Brewers would find an answer after Rodriguez began to flourish in the ninth inning.
After it became apparent that Rodriguez regained the ability to close once again, the thought that shifted to everyone’s mind was “yeah, he’s trade bait.” Regular closer Jim Henderson was on the 15-day disabled list and John Axford continued to battle his struggles in late inning relief which ultimately paved the way for Rodriguez.
When he came back in a Brewers’ uniform on May 16, nobody really knew what to expect from the 31 year-old veteran. What was looming for Francisco was his upcoming 300th career save that he would eventually get on June 22 against the Atlanta Braves. During his tenure in Milwaukee this season, Rodriguez notched 10 saves and had an ERA of 1.12 in 24.2 innings pitched, a clear candidate for the trade deadline.
As the summer began and the trade deadline was quickly approaching, the market for relievers became somewhat scarce, but K-Rod led the way. Eventually, the Baltimore Orioles would bite and trade for Rodriguez, sending a minor league player to the Brewers. Now with Rodriguez gone, the Brewers now had a new player to test out from the trade, third baseman Nick Delmonico.
Delmonico, 21, was drafted by the Orioles in 2011 and later ranked as one of their top prospects. With the Frederick Keys (Baltimore’s Single-A affiliate), Delmonico played in 61 games and his .243/.350/.469 with 13 homers, 30 RBIs and scored 33 runs, which showed some promise.
With the Brevard County Manatees, Delmonico would only play in 21 games and didn’t do quite as well, hitting a meager .194 with nine RBIs and eight runs scored. Of course, 21 games or 72 at-bats, isn’t exactly a great sample size to measure from. In 2014, the Brewers will see how the young third baseman does as eventually they’ll need someone at the position with Aramis Ramirez entering the last year of his contract.