KANSAS CITY -- New Orioles reliever Francisco Rodriguez admitted on Wednesday that he wasn't surprised he was traded from the Brewers, but was shocked that it was to Baltimore.
"There was a lot of teams linking to rumors outside [of Milwaukee], and Baltimore was not one of them," said Rodriguez, who experienced a similar situation when he was traded from the New York Mets. "So, it was a shock. But at the same time, happy."
The 31-year-old Rodriguez is 1-1 with 10 saves and a 1.09 ERA, along with 26 strikeouts and nine walks in 25 appearances after signing a Minor League deal with the Brewers in April. He spent the following month in the Minors and said not having to go through Spring Training has him fresher than in past seasons. The right-hander has recorded double-digit saves in nine of the last 10 seasons, including a Major League record 62 with the Angels in 2008, and he will be another late-inning option for Orioles manager Buck Showalter.
Could K-Rod also be another closing option to go along with current closer Jim Johnson?
"No more than Darren O'Day or Tommy Hunter, or if the matchups are right [Brian] Matusz or [Troy] Patton, [Jairo] Asencio ... if it fits," Showalter said. "I feel comfortable that we have a lot of people capable of doing it. He knows and our guys know what he's here for and it's another good what if? You can't pitch every day, so there are days when a win presents itself and you need to have other weapons."
"Hopefully, I can take some pressure off the guys a little bit and help them out the best I can," Rodriguez said. "I've been used to a heavy workload. To me, it's normal. Hopefully my experience can bring another piece to them and set up more roles."
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.