Rodriguez reports after settling visa issues

Rodriguez reports after settling visa issues

Rodriguez reports after settling visa issues
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Angels reliever Francisco Rodriguez, limited to 23 2/3 innings in the Majors and Minors last year because of a shoulder injury, reported to camp Thursday after getting his visa issues settled in Mexico.

The right-hander posted a 4.37 ERA in 43 appearances in 2010, but was limited to only 10 Major League games last season due to issues with his labrum. Rodriguez had the option of having surgery, but said there was only a 40 percent chance that would fix the problem, so he instead went through a rehab program he feels has completely healed his shoulder.

"I feel very good," said Rodriguez, who was able to get in some rehab games in August last year. "It's recovered 100 percent. Now let's see how it feels to pitch without pain this year."

Rodriguez, who turns 29 on Sunday, was designated for assignment last offseason, then signed to a Minor League contract with a Spring Training invite. He threw his first bullpen session of the offseason last Friday, and now, he's in camp competing with an assortment of relievers for spots in the Halos' bullpen.

Except he doesn't see it that way.

"I'm coming here to compete against myself," Rodriguez said. "I'm not competing against anybody. I'm here to show that I'm healthy and to improve. It's all about improving yourself and learning from those around you. It's good that there's a lot of quality arms here, because you can learn a lot here. But just because there's a lot of good arms here doesn't mean there aren't opportunities. There's opportunity for everyone."