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Manager's advice to Fernando Rodney is to keep it simple

Mike Scioscia says the reliever is having mechanical problems and needs to get his delivery back in sync. He has a 2-2 record with two blown saves and a 8.21 earned-run average in his last 10 outings.

May 17, 2011|By Kevin Baxter
  • Angels reliever Fernando Rodney has struggled in his last 10 appearances.
Angels reliever Fernando Rodney has struggled in his last 10 appearances. (Jason O. Watson / U.S. Presswire )

Reporting from Oakland — Angels Manager Mike Scioscia says he knows what has caused Fernando Rodney's recent struggles. And he even thinks he knows how to fix it.

So the challenge now becomes making that happen.

"It's definitely a mechanical thing," Scioscia said. "I don't think it has anything to do with focus. Sometimes you get out of sync in your delivery and he's tried to compensate with some things that are taking him in the wrong direction.

"He just needs to get simple again."

Scioscia said much the same thing after Rodney blew a save in the season's opening weekend, losing the closer's job to rookie Jordan Walden. The right-hander responded that time with eight consecutive scoreless appearances.

But Rodney has returned to his bad habits in the last three weeks, getting too long in his delivery. And the result has been a 2-2 record with two blown saves and a 8.21 earned-run average in his last 10 outings.

"It's execution," Scioscia said. "It's tough for him to put pitches together when his command is so off. Because all he's trying to do is find something that he's going to be able to get into the [strike] zone. It's impossible for him to really set up some of his pitches.

"He's not that far off. But there certainly needs to be a little adjustment."

Raindrops keep falling

Both games of the Oakland series started late because of rain, and the Angels have seen at least one game on each of their four trips either delayed or hampered by inclement weather.

But they are lucky in that they are the only team in the American League West who has not had any games rained out this spring.

Across the major leagues, 29 games have been postponed by weather in the season's first 7½ weeks, eight more than were rained out all of last season.

"Maybe we need new tarps. Maybe there's holes in the tarps," Scioscia joked. "I don't how you explain that away."

At some point those games will have to be made up, forcing teams to either play doubleheaders or forfeit scheduled off days; either solution figures to tax already fatigued pitching staffs. But Scioscia said that won't necessarily give his team an advantage down the stretch.

"You can, probably after the season, analyze some things [and] say you could have used a day off here and you got it because of a rain delay so it really helped you. You can talk about, what if guys are out of your lineup and you get rained out three games in a month and then they're back," he said. "You can try to evaluate that.

"But I don't think it's going to make much sense right now."

Wells stays home

Vernon Wells, on the disabled list with a groin strain, did not accompany the team to Oakland and will not be in Seattle for the Angels' next series. Wells was given permission to stay home in Texas to continue his rehab but he is expected to rejoin the team in Anaheim on Friday.

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