Image of
Nickname:   N/A Position:   RHP
Home: N/A Team:   TWINS
Height: 5' 11" Bats:   R
Weight: 230 Throws:   R
DOB: 3/17/1981 Agent: Bill Rego
Uniform #: 56  
Birth City: Samana, D. R.
Draft: 1997 - Tigers - Free agent
1998 DOM Summer Lg.                            
1999 GCL Tigers   22 30 20 39 21 0 0 0 9 3 3   2.40
1999 FSL LAKELAND   4 6 7 5 1 0 0 0 2 1 0   1.42
2000 MWL WEST MICHIGAN   22 83 74 56 35 10 0 0 0 6 4   2.94
2000 NYP ONEONTA   9 45 52 37 26 9 1   0 2 4   4.60
2001 FSL LAKELAND   16 55 53 44 19 9 0 0 0 4 2   3.42
2001 EL ERIE   4 6 7 8 3 0 0 0 1 0 0   4.26
2002 EL ERIE   21 20 14 18 5 0 0 0 11 1 0   1.33
2002 AL TIGERS $200.00 20 18 25 10 10 0 0 0 0 1 3   6.00
2002 IL TOLEDO   20 22 13 25 9 0 0 0 4 1 1   0.81
2003 IL TOLEDO   38 41 22 58 13 0 0 0 23 1 1   1.33
2003 AL TIGERS $300.00 27 30 35 33 17 0 0 0 3 1 3   6.07
2004 AL TIGERS-D.L. $304.00                          
2005 AL TIGERS $319.00 39 44 39 42 17 0 0 0 9 2 3   2.86
2006 AL TIGERS $385.00 63 71.2 51 65 34 0 0 0 7 7 4 0.196 3.52
2007 AL TIGERS $1,000.00 48 50.2 46 54 21 0 0 0 1 2 6 0.238 4.26
2007 IL TOLEDO MUD HENS   4 3 4 4 2 0 0 0 0 0 0   0.00
2008 IL TOLEDO   4 5.1 3 8 5 0 0 0 0 1 0   6.75
2008 AL TIGERS   38 40.1 34 49 30 0 0 0 13 0 6 0.224 4.91
2009 AL TIGERS $2,700.00 73 75.2 70 61 41 0 0 0 37 2 5 0.249 4.40
2010 AL ANGELS $5,500.00 72 68 70 53 35 0 0 0 14 4 3 0.263 4.24
2011 CAL INLAND EMPIRE   2 2 2 3 1 1 0 0 0 0 0   9.00
2011 AL ANGELS $5,500.00 39 32 26 26 28 0 0 0 3 3 5 0.224 4.50
2012 AL RAYS $1,750.00 76 74.2 43 76 15 0 0 0 48 2 2 0.167 0.60
2013 AL RAYS $2,500.00 68 66.2 53 82 36 0 0 0 37 5 4 0.211 3.38
2014 AL MARINERS $7,000.00 69 66.1 61 76 28 0 0 0 48 1 6 0.244 2.85
2015 NL MARINERS $7,000.00 54 50.2 51 43 25 0 0 0 16 5 5 0.262 5.68
2015 NL CUBS   14 12 8 15 4 0 0 0 0 2 0 0.186 0.75
2016 NL PADRES $1,600.00 28 28.2 13 33 12 0 0 0 17 0 1 0.137 0.31
2016 NL MARLINS   39 36.2 41 41 25 0 0 0 8 2 3 0.289 5.89
2017 NL DIAMONDBACKS $2,750.00 61 55.1 40 65 26 0 0 0 39 5 4 0.2 4.23
  • Fernando comes from the small peninsula of Samana, jutting out from the Dominican Republic. He was told he would never make it in baseball because he was too short (5 foot 9 at the time).
  • Rodney grew up in the Dominican a huge fan of boxing. He still watches the sport on TV as much as he can.
  • In 1998, during spring training and in the Gulf Coast League his first year of pro ball, Rodney said, "Every time I work out, that's what I hear (the eagles) at spring training in Lakeland," Rodney said.

    So Fernando came up with his own imitation of the screeching, to make teammates and even fans smile—something just to break the tension.

    "I still do it (the screeching to mimic the eagle sounds). Every guy knows, the team knows. My second year I keep doing that. Sometimes in the bullpen I do it," Rodney said.

  • In 2002, Rodney's father, Ulises, died of cancer at age 59 in the Dominican Republic. "My father's death is very hard to cope with," Fernando said. "But I have to keep going forward and concentrate on my job. From now on, I am dedicating everything I do in my career to my father." Rodney got called up to the Tigers and made his Major League debut just days after his Dad's funeral.

    To this day, if you look on Fernando's glove, you will see the name "Ulices" on it, as a reminder and motivator for him. And look inside his hat and you will find a photo of his young son, Fernando, Jr., who was born in 2005.

  • September 14, 2005: Rodney received permission to leave the Tigers for a few days to be with his girlfriend, who was giving birth to their first son, in Lakeland, Florida.

  • When Rodney concluded his topsy-turvy, 35-pitch, two-run save on September 4, 2009, he heaved the ball over the home-plate screen. He threw it harder than players do when they toss balls to fans in the box seats. Rodney's heave crashed into the second-deck press box with a thud.

    Major League Baseball investigated the incident. The ball didn't hit anyone, but it could have injured someone if it had.

    "I threw the ball to the fans—it was nothing," Rodney said. "I know I'm not supposed to throw the ball, but I'm feeling the moment. I threw it to the right spot and didn't hit anybody. I was mad. Bad day. I didn't try to hit anybody."

  • Fernando once saved three bags of hair to give to his own mother after teammate Freddy Dolsi gave him a haircut in Baltimore.

  • In 2009 with the Tigers, Rodney wore such a lethal-looking tooth around his neck that the team worried he might accidentally stab himself with it. So he eventually got the hint and stopped wearing it while in uniform.

  • Fernando is a bit of a character, singing and making bird sounds in the clubhouse. He has several voices—his own deep baritone, but also one that sounds like a frog. He is a lot of fun to be around.

  • In 2012, Rodney was the Comeback Player of the Year and the Delivery Man of the Year. The Comeback Player of the Year Award is given annually to one player in each league and is voted on by the 30 MLB.com beat reporters. The Delivery Man of the Year Award is voted on by a Major League Baseball panel and is given to the most outstanding reliever of the regular season.

  • In March 2013, Rodney played a pivotal role in the Dominican Republic's undefeated run toward claiming its first World Baseball Classic title. His eight appearances and seven saves set Classic records. In all, he allowed no runs on one hit, three walks, and eight strikeouts over 7 1/3 innings.

    "We played like a family," Rodney said of his experience in the Classic. "Good communication. We bring energy to the field every day. We play baseball like you're supposed to. Play to win the championship, that's why we won the trophy."

    Rodney said he wasn't surprised that his team did so well.

    "The first exhibition game we played against the Phillies, I saw something different in the field, a lot of energy," Rodney said. "Guys playing together, making plays the way you're supposed to."

  • The "magic plantain," noted for the success of the Dominican Republic's run in the 2013 WBC, was given to Rodney by a fan in the stands during the semi-final game that he wore in his wasteband during the game.

  • Rodney has a now-famous ritual of shooting an imaginary arrow into the air after getting the final out of a game he is closing.

  • August 30, 2013: Rodney decided he needed to use the bathroom, conveniently located at the end of the visiting dugout at the Coliseum. However, Rodney ended up getting trapped. It took a team of stadium personnel to finally get Rodney out of his predicament, using a crowbar to eventually pry the door open and let him out. He was then able to close out a Rays' win.

  • Informed his manager labeled him a prankster, Fernando Rodney giggles and squeals. Rodney, who often refers to himself by his surname, finds the thought of his hilarity hilarious. This is how the Mariners closer operates.

    It's really a 99-1 plan. Rodney is relaxed, jovial and somewhat odd in almost all aspects of his life. Then, for one percent of the time, he's the hard-throwing, heart-pounding closer.

    He comes with quirks. There was the “magic” plantain Rodney toted around at the 2013 World Baseball Classic, then later with the Tampa Bay Rays. He will change his voice — suddenly sounding like Kermit the Frog, if he was a lifetime smoker — to startle people.

    Rodney's accent from the Dominican Republic is thick, and he talks so quietly, it can be a challenge to understand him. When he switches to the more gravel-based Kermit-voice, his words are clearer. There is the position of his hat. It's cranked to the side, he claims, for multiple reasons.

    One, his father, Ulise, who was a fisherman and died in 2002, would rotate his hat to block the sun while he worked. In large part, it's a tribute to him. Rodney also claims it makes a runner on first base think Rodney is looking at him when he's not.

    Also an important reason for the hat rotation: it's fun. His sons are easily recognized in the clubhouse. They're the ones with the angled ballcaps. Then, there's the arrow. Typically reserved for the end of games, Rodney will reach to his upper back to pull out an imaginary arrow, then shoot it into the sky.

    “The arrow? I don't know,” Rodney said. “Just do something after the last out. Out 27. You know the game is over. I shoot the moon. I shoot the arrow, just let them know game over. That's my game. Every time I go pitch, I do my arrow. That's what the fans are waiting for. Rodney shoot the moon.”

    In July 2014, Rodney's celestial navigation was askew. The arrow took a decidedly different path after he got out of a bases-loaded situation in the eighth inning in Anaheim against one of his former teams, the Angels. Rodney pivoted and fired over the Anaheim dugout. He contends the non-existent object was launched toward the stands. Fans had booed his entrance. Others think it may have been aimed at Angels manager Mike Scioscia, who repeatedly removed Rodney from the closer's role in 2010 and 2011.

    Rodney lost the game in the ninth, suffering countershots of imaginary arrows from the Angels' Mike Trout and Albert Pujols. (Todd Dybas/July 2014)

  • Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik feels Rodney has stacked and steadied the Mariners bullpen. His bullpen mates believe Rodney has soothed many of the pressures that come with relieving. At times, he'll do this by barking.

    “Barking like a dog,” rookie reliever Dominic Leone said. “You'll look at him and it's like, ‘What?' And, he's over there laughing. “We're all living in Rodney's world out there. It's awesome. It keeps everyone mellow. It's awesome, because, at times, this game can get you so intense and so in the moment, but he's always just like loafing around, then you can see him flip the switch when he goes in the game.”

    His entrance, as it often is for closers, is a production. Techno romp “Animals” by Martin Garrix blares, Rodney finishes his warmup pitches then swigs from a cup of water before discarding it to the ground with disdain and jogs in. “We just need some fire and fog machines at the bottom of the bullpen,” Leone said. Rodney did not pick the song.

    “They say Rodney, what you think about this song? I say, ‘Whatever you want.'” Rodney has evolved into an eccentric closer with entrance music thanks to a changeup that moves like a loose-hipped dancer.

    “I no feel pressure,” Rodney said. “When I go there in that situation, that's what I want. I want to be the best in that situation — 2-1 game, I want to show my teammates, the fans I can pitch in that situation.” (Todd Dybas/July 2014)

  • Multiple studies have show that naps increase productivity with NASA pilots showing improved performance and alertness following a few winks. Count Fernando Rodney in the camp of the converted. Coming off a 2014 season in which he lead the league with 48 saves and posted his third consecutive above-average ERA+, the 37-year-old hurler admitted that after coming to the park and getting ready, he'll "sometimes take a nap." (Michael Clair - 1/25/2015)

  • August 28, 2015: Fernando admitted he didn't know many of the Cubs players, but he is familiar with the team. He's just like any other fan in that he has seen the highlights.

    "I'm happy to be part of the team," said Rodney, whom the Cubs acquired from the Mariners for a player to be named or cash considerations. "I think it's a good team. There's a lot of talent. Every time you turn on the TV, you see the Cubs in the highlights. I think it's a good idea to be here and be a part of it."

    Manager Joe Maddon knows Rodney well. He was part of the Rays bullpen in 2012-13, and appeared in a career-high 76 games the first season, compiling a 0.78 ERA (five earned runs over 74 2/3 innings). But this year hasn't gone as well for Rodney.

    "I know he had some struggles and we did some research on it to try to figure out what the differences were," Maddon said. (C Muskat - MLB.com - August 29, 2015)

  • March 11, 2016: Fernando Rodney recorded his final out, took three steps off the mound at the Peoria Sports Complex and -- for the first time in a Padres uniform -- pulled on an invisible bowstring and shot an invisible arrow into the atmosphere.

    Sure, it was only the sixth inning of an essentially meaningless 8-3 Cactus League loss to the White Sox, but the Padres hope it was the first of many invisible arrows they'll get to see this season.

    "Physically, mentally I feel good," Rodney said. "The only thing that was bothering me was the little hammy [injury]. But the last two BPs I threw on the mound, I felt very good, and today I felt great."

  • Dec. 9, 2016: New D-backs closer Fernando Rodney joked that he's already placed an order for 45 invisible arrows, one for every save he hopes to rack up in 2017, and he plans to launch them into the sky from the mound with his new teammates after each victory.

    Rodney's postgame bow-and-arrow celebration is well known in baseball circles. 

    "First, I want to give thanks to God. I feel good physically and mentally," Rodney, 39, said in Spanish. "My body feels great and I'm going to pitch until God tells me it's time to stop. I know I can help this team. I'm a veteran and can share my experience," Rodney said. "I'll do that in the World Baseball Classic and with the Diamondbacks, too." (J Sanchez - MLB.com - Dec 9, 2016)


  • November 1, 1997: Fernando signed with the Tigers as a non-drafted free agent, out of the Dominican Republic.

  • January 16, 2007: The Tigers avoided salary arbitration with Rodney when they agreed to a $1.05 million contract for the 2007 season. Then, three days later, they made it a two-year deal, worth $2.7 million.

  • January 14, 2009: Rodney and the Tigers avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one-year, $2.7 million contract.

  • November 5, 2009: Fernando filed for free agency.

  • December 23, 2009: Rodney signed a two-year, $11 million contract with the Angels.

  • January 4, 2012: Fernando signed a one-year contract with the Rays. It has a base salary of $1.75 million in 2012, with a $2.5 million option for 2013 and a buyout of $250,000 in the event that the club does not use the option.

    October 31, 2012: The Rays exercised their option and Rodney will be paid $2.5 million for 2013.

  • February 6, 2014: Fernando signed a two-year, $14 million contract with the Mariners

  • August 23, 2015: The Mariners designated Rodney for assignment.

  • August 27, 2015:  The Cubs added another arm to the bullpen mix, acquiring  Rodney from the Mariners for a player to be named or cash considerations.

  • February 4, 2016: Rodney signed a one-year pact with the Padres.

  • June 30, 2016: The Padres traded Rodney to the Marlins for RHP Chris Paddack.

  • Dec 9, 2016: The Diamondbacks signed free agent Rodney.

  • Nov 2, 2017: Rodney chose free agency.

  • Dec 14, 2017: The Twins came  to terms with veteran reliever Fernando Rodney on a one-year deal worth $4.5 million, with incentives that could push it to $6 million. The deal also includes a club option for 2019 with the same terms.
  • Rodney is an exceptionally strong pitcher, even though he is small of stature. And his 4-seam FASTBALL can reach 97 mph on occasion, normally registering 93-96. His 2-seam 93-95 mph SINKER. Fernando's  84-87 mph power SLIDER could at one time be an unhittable pitch, but he only uses it occasionally. His best pitch is an 81-85 mph CHANGEUP with armside fade that is one of the best in the game.

    Rodney's changeup is a real factor. He can tell you his changeup is coming and you still might not be able to get a bat on it. It is just that solid. He can throw it at 15 mph less than his fastball. And he controls it well, most of the time. He has to keep it down. Many times he will work hitters to set up his offspeed pitch for a swing and miss. That changeup is lights out to a lefthanded hitter. (April, 2016)

  • 2016 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball: 18% of the time; Sinker 40.3% of the time; and Change 41.6% of the time.

    2017 Season Pitch Usage: 4-seam Fastball 21% of the time; 2-seam SINKER 39%; Changeup 38.2% and his Slider only 2% of the time.

  • Fernando's changeup? 

    "It's as good as Pedro Martinez's," said Larry Parrish, manager at Triple-A Toledo, back in 2003. "It's one of the best I've ever seen. He has what we call a Bugs Bunny changeup, the kind that reminds you of those cartoons where the batter keeps swinging and missing at the same pitch."

  • Everything about Rodney still oozes power—the way he's built, his demeanor, the cock-eyed way he wears his hat, his vicious fastball. But all of that is contradicted by his changeup. It gets to the plate and just stops.

  • He has an easy arm action, coming at hitters from over-the-top. However, he needs to be more consistent with his delivery. He is in need of better control.

  • In 2003, Rodney was named the International League Relief Pitcher of the Year.

  • In August 2002, Fernando was sent back to the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens to work on he changeup and gain greater command of his slider.

  • In 2003, on Baseball America's annual Minor League Best Tools list, Rodney was recognized for having the International League's Best Fastball.
  • Fernando uses his fastball to set up that devastating changeup that he hides well with a consistent release—the same arm speed, motion and release as his fastball.

  • After the first week of the 2011 season, Rodney was out as the closer for the Angels. He was too long in his delivery and needed to get it more compact. Jordan Walden replaced him for the time being.

  • Fernando had fastball command issues during the 2011 season.

  • In 2012, Rodney's 0.60 ERA was the lowest in Major League history—lower than Dennis Eckersley's 0.61 ERA of 1990, the previous record holder.

  • In the end, the only thing that came between Fernando and a 41-year-old Padres record was the back-right corner of the first-base bag at Camden Yards.

    Rodney -- who was one out away from running his streak of consecutive innings without an earned run to 26 2/3 -- had his shot at franchise history snapped when Pedro Alvarez's seemingly routine chopper hit the base and bounced between the legs of Wil Myers. The play was ruled a hit, and Rodney had to settle for his 15th save of the season in a 10-7 Padres victory over Baltimore.  (Cassavell - MLB.com - 6/21/16)

  • September 22, 2017: Rodney locked down his 300th career save. With the save, Rodney moved into a tie for 26th on the all-times saves list. 
  • Feb 2, 2018: Fernando Rodney likes to have fun on the mound, wearing his cap tilted to the side and celebrating his saves with his bow and arrow routine. But Rodney has a more serious side to him when it comes to getting himself ready to pitch, as he's worked hard to remain an effective closer despite turning 41 in 2018.

    Rodney joined the Twins on a one-year deal worth $4.5 million with a club option, and he said he believes he can keep pitching for several more years, just like his friend Bartolo Colon, who pitched with Minnesota last year at 44 years old. 

    "If you can control the game, it doesn't matter how old you are," Rodney said. "Closing is the situation in the game that I feel most comfortable. I feel like I can do my job."

    Rodney still has good stuff, as evidenced by his 65 strikeouts in 55 1/3 innings with the D-backs in 2017 while registering a 4.23 ERA and 39 saves in 45 chances. Rodney's fastball velocity has remained consistent, averaging 94-95 mph over the past four seasons, and he throws his changeup roughly 40 percent of the time. Opposing hitters hit just .148 with one homer against his changeup, and it generated 86 swings and misses, per Statcast.

    "We looked at how his stuff has trended over the past few years, and it's really maintained," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "We did background on his character and how he is in the clubhouse, and it came back great." Rodney is considered a clubhouse leader and brings plenty of personality to the Twins. He's a former teammate of Ervin Santana with the Angels, and he brings a wealth of experience after pitching for 8 different clubs over 15 seasons. (R Bollinger - MLB.com - Feb 2, 2018)

  • Rodney entered the 2018 season with a career record of 44-63 and a 3.73 ERA. He had allowed 61 home runs and 706 hits in 821 innings. Fernando converted 300 of 366 save opportunities (81.9%).
    • During 2006 spring training, Tigers manager Jim Leyland prepared even his pitchers with sliding drills. After baserunning coach Andy Van Slyke demonstrated the proper technique, the pitchers gave it a shot. Or, as Mike Maroth put it, "We all had the opportunity to slide."

Some looked fairly decent. Others were a little rough around the edges, including setup man Fernando Rodney. All of them left with their uniforms a lot dirtier than they normally get in a game.

Asked about Rodney's slide, Maroth said, "It looked like it hurt. It wasn't the technique Andy taught us." (Jason Beck-MLB.com-2/27/06)

Career Injury Report
  • March 26, 2004: Fernando started the season on the D.L. Surgery was finally required, on May 5. Dr. James Andrews diagnosed the reliever with a tear in his ulnar collateral ligament and performed Tommy John surgery.

    So he missed the entire 2004 season.

  • March 29–June 9, 2005: Rodney started the season on the D.L. with inflammation in his right shoulder.
  • May 26–June 5, 2007: Fernando was on the D.L. with bicep tendinitis.
  • June 26–August 4, 2007: The Tigers placed Rodney on the 15-day disabled list, because of tendinitis in his right forearm and right shoulder.
  • March-June 16, 2008: Rodney went on the shelf with tendinitis in his right shoulder. And he spent the first half of the season on the D.L.
  • June 8-23, 2011: Fernando was on the D.L. with a nagging upper back injury.