Rodney refines delivery with Butcher

Rodney refines delivery with Butcher

CHICAGO -- The side work he's been doing with pitching coach Mike Butcher apparently has Fernando Rodney back on track, feeling more like the weapon he was in Detroit in 2009 when he saved 37 games in 38 attempts and early last season when he rolled through five near perfect save opportunities before wildness surfaced.

"Absolutely [he has a] comfort level with his mechanics," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of Rodney, who has put together two strong outings after a discouraging start to the season that cost him, at least temporarily, the closer's role. "I think he feels very comfortable with how he's throwing the ball."

Since walking three hitters and giving up two earned runs while getting only one out against the Royals on April 3, Rodney has been virtually flawless in four appearances. He has walked one man and allowed one hit and no runs in 4 1/3 innings, striking out three and picking up a save against Toronto.

"He's experimented with some things, gotten into a good, compact delivery that's worked for him," Scioscia said. "He was in it last year at the beginning of the season. At times it's gotten away from him. He understands where he's got to be."

It's a big season for Rodney, who is in the final year of a two-year deal.