October 1, 2012; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Fernando Rodney (56) throws a pitch in the ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field. Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Baltimore Orioles 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Undercards: Fernando Rodney Stays Untouchable in Winter Ball Debut


Greatness is awfully hard to achieve, let alone sustain. Fernando Rodney was able to do that over the course of an entire season in 2012, setting an MLB record for pitchers minimum 50 innings with a 0.60 ERA to go along with 48 saves in a magical 2012 season. Next season, it’s impossible to expect that he’ll repeat such performance- and especially in meaningless Winter Ball games, you could not expect him to come out strong after not seeing game action in three months. But Rodney did just that in his Winter Ball debut, and the Rays have to hope it’s a sign of things to come.

Dominican Winter League Postseason: Leones de Escogido 6, Estrellas de Oriente 1

Edward Valdez gave the Leones 5.1 innings of 1-run ball and the Escogido offense and bullpen did the rest as the Leones came away with a crisp 6-1 win. The Red Sox’ Mauro Gomez had a big game, going 1 for 3 with a 2-run homer and 2 walks, while the Mets’ Jordany Valdespin went 2 for 5 with a double, 2 RBI, and a run scored. In terms of the ex-Rays in the game, Willy Aybar went 2 for 3 with a walk and a run scored and Julio Lugo went 1 for 5 with an RBI for Escogido, and Ray Olmedo went 1 for 3 for Oriente. The most important Rays-related player in the game, though, was a player that the Rays will be relying heavily upon next season, Fernando Rodney, who made his Winter Ball debut and did hit a batter as he showed signs of rust, but worked an otherwise spotless inning, striking out 1.

Aguilas Cibaenas 5, Toros del Este 4

An improbable 3-run rally in the 9th inning finished off by a walk-off single by the Rangers’ Leury Garcia gave the Cibaenas an exhilarating win. Manny Ramirez‘s hot postseason took a day off as he went just 0 for 4, but Hector Luna did go 1 for 3 with a double, a walk, and an RBI.

Mexican Pacific League Playoffs: Aguilas de Mexicali 4, Algodoneros de Guasave 3

This was a game of momentum shifts as Mexicali scored 3 in the 4th inning to take a 3-1 lead only to see their bullpen blow a beautiful outing by Marco Duarte (6 IP, 1 ER, 8 K), but they got a go-ahead single by Roman Pena in the 9th to win the game. In terms of the ex-Rays, Jon Weber had a tough day, going 0 for 4 with 2 strikeouts, while Wes Bankston went 0 for 2 but with 3 walks and a run scored.

Roberto Clemente Professional Baseball League (Puerto Rico) Postseason: Idios de Mayaguez 14, Gigantes de Carolina 7

Not a good game for Carolina in this one, but a pair of ex-Rays did have good games. Jesus Feliciano went just 0 for 5 out of the Gigantes’ leadoff spot, but Leslie Anderson went 2 for 5 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored (although bizarrely, as a player with no speed, he was caught stealing), and Eddie Morlan went 1.2 perfect innings, striking out 2. Anderson is hitting .375 since joining Carolina for the RCPBL Postseason.

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