TEMPE, Ariz. -- It is much too early for any hard judgments, in Angels manager Mike Scioscia's mind. Fernando Rodney has time to show he's the right guy for the ninth inning.
"This is spring," Scioscia said in the aftermath of Rodney's rocky outing against the Cubs in Mesa, Ariz., on Monday. "He's going to have plenty of time to show what he can do.
"Fernando had good stuff. He just had trouble putting guys away. Some of our guys had issues with command."
Rodney yielded four singles, a double and two runs in one inning. He was assisted by a superb relay from left fielder Chris Pettit to shortstop Erick Aybar to catcher Bobby Wilson to nail Marlon Byrd at the plate on Aramis Ramirez's double.
In three appearances this spring, Rodney has given up seven hits and two walks in three innings and owns a 6.00 ERA. He is bidding to nail down the closer's job vacated by Brian Fuentes, who was shipped to the Twins in August. Fuentes is now a setup man for the Athletics.
Among those in contention for the closer's role should Rodney falter are young guns Kevin Jepsen and Jordan Walden. Also in the picture are Jason Bulger, Michael Kohn, Scott Downs and Hisanori Takahashi.