When the Milwaukee Brewers signed Francisco Rodriguez this winter, I for one was not thrilled. Though he was an all-star last season, his rising home run rate that neared two per nine innings did not make me feel comfortable heading into the ninth inning of games this season.
More from Reviewing the Brew
- Brewers: 4 Players Who Must Step Up for the Crew to Make the Playoffs
- Brewers: Yet Another Huge Promotion For Top Prospect Jackson Chourio
- Brewers Making Colossal Mistake With Corbin Burnes’ Contract
- Which Players May Be In The Final Month Of Their Brewers Careers?
- Brewers: Where Does Devin Williams Stand In NL Reliever Of The Year Race?
But Rodriguez exceeded expectations. Putting together another all-star year, he exceeded all expectations again this season. With the year over, here is a look at his final grade.
Though the Brewers were one of the worst teams in all of baseball all year long, Rodriguez finished fifth in the National League with 38 saves. Not only did he blow just two saves all year, but he didn’t blow his first one until August 29th against the Cincinnati Reds.
Constantly changing his style on the mound, Rodriguez put together his best walk rate of his career and one of his best strikeouts per nine inning rates as well. Normally known as a pitcher who allowed several runners in his save opportunities, he had a WHIP of 0.86 (also a career best).
This year he also moved into 7th place all-time in saves with 378. At just 33-years-old, he still has a realistic shot to move into third place overall within the next two seasons.
I still remain skeptical of the next year on his contract and the option year for 2017, but Rodriguez proved me wrong this year each time out and remains a cornerstone in the Brewers’ bullpen. Though the rest of the league has stayed away from his for years, he continues to be one of the best late inning arms that the Brewers have ever had.
Final Grade: A