Last night manager Terry Collins used Francisco Rodriguez in the 8th inning of a loss to the Phillies. The second guessing began almost immediately. Why use your closer in a non-save situation? Why waste an appearance that could have contractual ramifications? (KRod has a $17.5 million option that kicks in if he makes 55 appearances.)
The answer is simple. Those things don’t matter. Yes, he’s one of the best closers in the game and should be used in as many save opportunities as possible. Collins should use him in as few non-save situations as he can. But he’s human too. He needs to work in competitive game situations to keep himself sharp.
For those concerned about the 55 appearance contract option kicking in you’ll have to get used to the idea that it will likely happen. KRod has surpassed that mark in every full season he’s been in the majors except for last year which was cut short by injury and stupidity. including last year he’s averaged 66 appearances a year. So don’t think for even a minute that last night’s appearance will be the one that puts KRod over the top for his option.