Despite Fernando Rodney‘s struggles this season, and regardless of all the speculation as to whether or not the Rays need to make a change at closer, the team still believes that Rodney can turn things around. In fact, both Joel Peralta and Joe Maddon have brushed off any idea that Rodney may be in danger of losing his job.
Joel Peralta reaction to potentially closing games “it’s not going to happen, Fernando is going to be our closer for the whole year.” #Rays
— Chris Fischer (@ChrisFischer07) May 24, 2013
Is this merely posturing by the Rays, as they are trying to keep Rodney in a positive state of mind? Or do they truly believe that he can overcome his struggles, and begin to resemble the reliever that he was last year? It will definitely be interesting to watch how Maddon manages the bullpen if both are available in a save situation. As frustrating as the Rays stadium situation has been for the team, it has also been frustrating for Tampa mayor Bob Buckhorn. He expressed his annoyance at the stalemate, but stated that he was encouraged by the recent talks and the growing sense of urgency between the Rays and St. Petersburg.
“I get a sense that, perhaps over the summer, there may be some movement,” Buckhorn said after throwing out the ceremonial first pitch. “I don’t know what it’ll be. But I think everyone recognizes that the status quo is not an answer.”
Even though he stated that he does not want to get in the middle of the negotiations, hopefully his optimism is is well served, and the Rays can remain in the Tampa-St. Pete area. Finally, Durham manager Charlie Montoyo reached a milestone with his 500th victory at AAA Durham last night. Maddon took to Twitter to congratulate him on his achievement.
Congrats to Charlie Montoyo for his 500th win at Durham tonight.
— Joe Maddon (@RaysJoeMaddon) May 25, 2013
We here at RCG also want to congratulate Montoyo for reaching this milestone for the Bulls. He has helped to develop a lot of players that are part of the Rays present, and will play a part in the Rays future as well.