Twins’ Fernando Rodney pitched early due to most random reason
Sunday was a pretty busy day for Minnesota Twins reliever Fernando Rodney.
During the Twins’ series finale against the Tampa Bay Rays, manager Paul Molitor elected to bring in Rodney, who usually closes for the team, during the fifth inning. The Rays were up 4-1 with two on and one out, so Molitor pulled starting pitcher Fernando Romero and entrusted Rodney to get the final two outs of the inning, which he did. The Twins would then go on to rally and win in extra innings by the final of 11-7.
Molitor’s seemingly out-of-the-box thinking earned praise on social media.
Interesting move by Molitor to bring in Rodney….in the 5th inning. #MNTwins
— Alex Donovan (@AlexDonovan13) July 15, 2018
Lots of criticism for Molitor in 1st half of season. His move with Rodney early saved game & was eventual difference.
— Tom Cody (@TjdsbTom) July 15, 2018
Yesterday I felt Molitor blew it for the @Twins BUT today his call using Rodney early was SMART and helped us win. And then there is Dozier! Good job Twins! @dbremer_pxp #Givecreditwhereitsdue #2ndhalfisours
— TH (@HinrichsTee) July 15, 2018
It turns out though that Molitor actually had a very specific reason for using Rodney that early. 1500 ESPN’s Judd Zulgad revealed Rodney to leave in the middle of the game around 3 PM CST for an immigration hearing in Miami.
Earlier today the baseball world loved what Molitor did when he brought in Rodney to get two huge outs in the fifth. So what was the thinking in this genius strategical decision? Molitor: Fernando had an immigration hearing in Miami and had to leave just after 3 p.m.
— Judd Zulgad (@1500ESPNJudd) July 15, 2018
For Rodney, who hails from the Dominican Republic, it was probably quite a balancing act with the game beginning at 1:10 PM. Also complicating matters was that it was played at home in Minnesota instead of in Tampa Bay, which is just a few hundred miles away from Miami.
As for the 44-50 Twins, this is just the latest oddball occurrence in a season that has often trended towards the bizarre for them.