What do you think of Fernando Rodney's mechanics?

Here’s some vids of him:

http://detroit.tigers.mlb.com/team/player.jsp?player_id=407845

Any thoughts? good and/or bad?

Not a fan of his tilted shoulders. And he doesn’t really have the stats to back up his awkward mechanics.

So you don’t like higher arm slot guys? Why not?

The guy needs some dang command. Mix in a strike once in awhile. He has pathetic game management as a closer.

What do you mean by ‘awkward mechanics’?

yeah, his command isn’t exactly legendary stuff…

I just wanted to know what everyone thought because I’m studying pitchers who are relatively small compared to these 6’3/6’4 250 pound machines but throw equally as hard.

I didn’t really know what to make of Fernando.

I’m not sure you can make a direct correlation between his mechanics and the following but I’ll bet some have tried.

This is Fernando Rodney’s History of injuries since being called up from Toledo in 2004:

Jun 16, 2008: Missed 69 games (right shoulder tendinitis).
Mar 30, 2008: Right shoulder tendinitis, 15-day DL.
Aug 4, 2007: Missed 33 games (forearm injury).
Jun 26, 2007: Forearm injury, 15-day DL.
Jun 4, 2007: Missed 10 games (right shoulder tendinitis).
May 26, 2007: Right shoulder tendinitis, 15-day DL.
May 24, 2007: Right shoulder tendinitis, day-to-day.
Apr 24, 2007: Missed 2 games (neck injury).
Apr 22, 2007: Neck injury, day-to-day.
Jan 19, 2007: Re-signed by the Detroit Tigers to a two-year contract extension.
Jan 16, 2007: Re-signed by the Detroit Tigers to a one-year contract.
Feb 20, 2006: Re-signed by the Detroit Tigers to a one-year contract.
Jun 9, 2005: Missed 57 games (right shoulder inflammation).
Mar 29, 2005: Right shoulder inflammation, 15-day DL.
Jan 31, 2005: Re-signed by the Detroit Tigers to a one-year contract.
Nov 19, 2004: Activated from 15-day DL (tricep injury).
Oct 4, 2004: Missed entire 2004 season (tricep injury).
Apr 2, 2004: Tricep injury, 15-day DL.
Feb 5, 2004: Re-signed by the Detroit Tigers to a one-year contract.

Stats In ERA W L GP GS CG ShO SV IP H R ER HR BB K
2002 Erie AA 1.33 1 0 21 0 0 0 11 20.1 14 4 3 0 5 18

I put these stats up to show what he is capable of. He gets right handers out as long as he stays ahead in the count. He throws the crap out of the ball but one might argue the stress he puts on his body makes him break down alot. When evaluating pitchers one of the parameters that cannot be determined by the radar gun is DURABILITY. There are others…movement, make-up, background, temperment and genetics. But durability is the million dollar question. On the financial balance sheet I think Rodney is skating on thin ice.

Rodney is currently on the 40 man roster but at 5’ 11" , 210 lbs. he is the shortest in stature amongst the pitchers except for Macay McBride (same size) a recent aquisition from the Atlanta Braves. McBride was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 1st round (22nd overall) in 2001. He did not pan out quite as they liked. He is a left hand hitter specialist, lacking command and easily hittable by right handers. Kind of a swing and a miss whiff by Atlanta for a first round pick.

Fernando Rodney was just re-signed by the Tigers to a one-year contract. I wonder how long he’ll go before he’s sidelined again with that right-shoulder tendinitis or something similar.
I haven’t seen him pitch all that much, but I believe that whoever has come up with those statistics correlating his mechanics and his repeated injuries is on the right track. Something is very much amiss with those mechanics, and in his efforts to throw his fast ball at better than 100 miles an hour he’s risking serious injury. The Tigers have a pitching coach, don’t they? That guy had better get together with Rodney and do some serious corrective work before the spring exhibitions get under way—or else Detroit is going to have to work overtime to find a reliable closer.

Alright, so we’ve managed to point out the bad in him but what about the good?

There’s gotta be something good if he’s hurling the ball at 98MPH.

I think this picture explains a lot about Rodney’s injury history.While he doesn’t have a timing problem as his arm is in the high cocked position while his shoulders are still closed to home plate, his “show the ball to 2nd base” high-cocked position has his elbow already above the level of his shoulders. At this point, his rotator cuff muscles are already pinched between the humerus and the acromion. As his body rotates, his forearm will start to “lay back” and in this process the rotator cuff muscles will rub against the acromion numerous times throughout an outing/ season causing inflamation, otherwise known as rotator cuff tendinitis (see Dino’s post!)
That being said, Rodney throws the piss out of the ball because he creates tremendous separation with his torso and hips. He also has great intent to throw the ball hard.

Now lets look at a guy who was the epitome of durability and if my memory serves me right, threw the absolute piss outta the ball! Nolan Ryan, in the high cocked position, has the ball pointed towards thrid base and his elbow below or at the very most in line with the acromion. This allowed his shoulder to lay back while reducing the amount of friction between the rotator cuff muscles and the acromion. Now, I’m not a huge, huge O’leary guy but I do believe there is something to what he says reagarding the level/ height of the elbow in relation to the acromion!

From my understanding and from what I’ve been told from some people is that hip/shoulder separation is created from momentum. But after watching him pitch and watching some videos from the side of him he doesn’t even start his hips towards the plate until he’s coming down out of his leg lift. So could he possibly be consciously trying to create maximum separation?