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Nats going with closer-by-committee

May 22, 2012, 10:41 PM EDT

Associated Press photo
Henry Rodriguez has an 8.38 ERA and three blown saves in his last 12 appearances.

PHILADELPHIA — One night after another near-meltdown in the ninth inning, Henry Rodriguez is being moved out of the Nationals' closer role, with manager Davey Johnson saying he'll instead use a committee of relievers in that spot.

"Henry has been great, he's been not-so-great," Johnson said before tonight's game against the Phillies. "I think he might be trying too hard. Probably change his role, put him in a little less-demanding role, try to get him back on track."

Thrust into the closer's role after both Drew Storen and Brad Lidge succumbed to injuries, Rodriguez opened the season with five consecutive saves converted and zero earned runs allowed. But in 12 appearances since, his ERA sits at 8.38 and he's blown three save opportunities.

That doesn't include two games in the last week in which Rodriguez has gotten himself into a jam and had to be bailed out by teammate SeanRead more ยป

  1. joemktg - May 22, 2012 at 10:48 PM

    Can't showcase him from the pen.

  2. Kirbs - May 22, 2012 at 11:20 PM

    Clippard!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Cwj - May 22, 2012 at 11:45 PM

    "Closer by Committee" is generally considered a bad sign due to the fact that it is mostly employed by teams with a losing record and bad bullpen. That is absolutely not the case with the Nats.The Nats relievers are top 5 in the League. Most of them have the mentality to close, a couple do not.As a committee, I'm comfortable with any of: Burnett, Stammen, Clippard, even Gorzelanny.A shame about Henry though. I have defended him numerous times here. But I admit that he lacks the mentality to close right now.

  4. Theophilus T. S. - May 23, 2012 at 1:09 AM

    1. Lombardozzi looked like he knew what he was doing on a couple of flyballs.2. Gorzellany looks more and more comfortable. (This is the product of Johnson's theory of putting people in assigned roles, comfortable w/ what they are being asked to do. Notwithstanding Gorzellany's expressed desire to pitch in "meaningful" situations, Johnson is correct: every inning is important and every time Gorzellany eats an inning or two is something to be grateful for.)

  5. NatFanBethesda - May 23, 2012 at 1:25 AM

    HRod out as closer? Oh thank you, God.Time to get Clippard in there — fuggedabout this 8th inning, Clip stuff — let him close!!!!

  6. Brother Juniper - May 23, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    I feel bad for Henry. I always develop strong emotional ties to all the Nats' players. But I can recall some fireballers needing time to develop. Koufax wasn't much his first 7 years, but was terrific his last 7. Randy Johnson got much better after he got his stuff under control. So I think we'll just have to be patient with Henry and maybe more time in the minors would do him good. So I'll hope for the best for Henry, but this is the right decision for the Nats right now.

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