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Arthur Rhodes: Best Setup Man in Majors

Arthur Rhodes at the age of 40 is the best setup man in the majors with a 0.42 ERA.

It has been 22 years since Arthur Rhodes made his first pitch in professional baseball for Bluefield of the Appalachian League in 1988.  Now at the age of 40 the Texas native is the leading setup man in major league baseball.

He has allowed only one run in 23 relief appearances in 2010 for a 1-1 record and a 0.42 ERA. He has not allowed a run since his second appearance of the season on April 10 against the Cubs.

Rhodes issued his first walk since May 8 last night when he walked two Cardinals. He has allowed only nine hits in his 21 innings and has posted a 0.69 WHIP and opponents are hitting only .130 against Rhodes.

For the first 14 years of his major league career Rhodes pitched nine years for the Orioles and four years for the Mariners.

Since leaving the Mariners he has pitched for the A’s, Indians, Phillies, a second stint with the Mariners, Marlins and Reds. He missed the entire 2007 season due to Tommy John surgery.

Rhodes has been stingy when it comes to allowing home runs and has allowed only eight home runs since 2004.

He pitched very well for both the Orioles and Mariners in back to back seasons. He compiled a 19-4 record for the Orioles over the 1996 and 1997 seasons. Later he would post a 18-4 record over the 2001 and 2002 seasons for the Mariners.

When Rhodes played his first season for the Orioles he only earned $100,000 and in his sixth season with the Orioles he was only earning $300,000. Today a first year player earns over $400,000 but Rhodes didn’t earn that much till his seventh season when he earned $1.6 million.

The Reds are currently one game ahead of the Cardinals in the NL Central race and Rhodes has been a big part of their success.

Around the Diamond

The Braves extended their winning streak to seven games after defeating the Phillies again last night. While the Braves have the longest winning streak in the majors the Diamondbacks have the longest losing streak with nine consecutive losses.

A.J. Hinch who took over the managerial reins for the Diamondbacks last season may be replaced since the team has been 78-108 with him at the helm and he has shown no sign of being able to turn the team around. In his defense though the Diamondbacks have been without the services of the 2006 Cy Young winner Brandon Webb and the runner-up in 2007 and 2008 since he has thrown only four innings since 2008.

The Rangers moved into a one percentage point lead over the A’s yesterday….The Red Sox are only a half game behind the third place Blue Jays in the AL East….Javier Vazquez won his fourth game of the 2010 season last night and didn’t win his fourth game till May 20 in 2009 so he has to be hoping he can put together another 10-3 record in the second half to make up for his dismal start in 2010. However his ERA was 3.58 at this time last season but is currently 6.06.

Trevor Hoffman allowed three runs in the seventh inning to the Marlins when he allowed three hits and two walks as the Marlins broke a 3-3 tie to take a 6-3 lead and eventually defeated the Brewers 6-4. It was the third time in his last seven appearances that Hoffman gave up three runs.

Hoffman has allowed 22 runs and 25 hits in 17 innings while striking out 10 and walking 10. Two years ago he had a strikeout to walk ratio of 46-9 in 54 innings but has walked 10 already this season in 37 fewer innings. He is proving he can not only close games but cannot hold a lead if he enters the game before the ninth inning.

The Brewers are in a quandary since they would probably like to release him now but would like to pay him as little of the $7.5 million owed as possible depending on whether he has a guaranteed contract. One thing for sure is that it is very unlikely he will garner his 600th save since he still needs four more. I can’t see any team wanting his services since he has a 2.06 WHIP.


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2 thoughts on “Arthur Rhodes: Best Setup Man in Majors

  1. Ron Sayles on said:

    Age has caught up with Hoffman, it happens to us all. Maybe he should do the right thing. Instead of continually blowing games he should retire. He is no good to the Brewers and he is no good to himself.

  2. I agree 100 percent. Sometimes a player has to respect the game and walk away instead of hurting his team knowing he doesn’t have it. Having 10 walks in 17 innings tells me he is finished considering he walked only 9 two years ago in 37 more innings.

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