PITTSBURGH -- Reliever Francisco Rodriguez celebrated his 10-year Major League anniversary on Tuesday.What does the milestone mean to him? "I'm getting old," Rodriguez said, and laughed. "No, it's a blessing," he added. "I was talking to my mom and my cousin, and I said, 'Time is flying by.'" Rodriguez made his debut on Sept. 18, 2002, for the Angels against the A's, striking out a pair of batters in a scoreless inning. He was so good in his first five games -- 13 strikeouts, three hits and no runs -- that the Angels included him on their postseason roster, and he helped the team win the World Series by striking out 28 in 18 2/3 innings. And K-Rod was born. "We brought him up, and he was nasty. Unhittable," said manager Ron Roenicke, who was an Angels coach at the time. The question now is where Rodriguez, 30, goes from here. He has not been a regular closer since July 2011, when the Brewers acquired him from the Mets and made him a setup man. He is attempting to finish strong in his most trying season, one in which he has posted the worst ERA (4.78 through his first 70 appearances), walks plus hits per inning pitched (1.453) and strikeout rate (8.9 per nine innings) of his career. He is a free agent at season's end and will seek a closer's job somewhere. He has 294 career saves. "If he is throwing like he was all of last year, and like he has thrown recently, I would have no problem at all [making him a closer]," Roenicke said.
Melvin, staff begin offseason planning
PITTSBURGH -- Illustrating the Brewers' sudden rise to postseason contention, the club's entire operations staff gathered in Pittsburgh this week for previously planned meetings meant to kick-start the offseason.General manager Doug Melvin did not expect the meetings to coincide with a Wild Card chase. "We never get a chance to get together throughout the course of the year," Melvin said. "Bruce [Seid, amateur scouting director] is on the road, Dick [Groch, a special assistant] is on the road, Zack [Minasian, pro scouting director] is on the road. You've got so many people involved." So they gathered in a conference room at the team hotel on Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. ET. A group that also included assistant GM Gord Ash, manager Ron Roenicke and his coaches, farm director Reid Nichols, special assistants Craig Counsell and Dan O'Brien, and Karl Mueller, the director of video scouting, pored over the Major League roster and the prospect pipeline, discussed the First-Year Player Draft and revisited the moves that were made -- and not made -- over the past year. A smaller group met again on Wednesday to discuss player development and budgeting. It was the sort of pre-planning that was pushed back last year while the Brewers cruised to the National League Central crown. Part of Melvin's goal is to gather unfiltered input from his aides about the state of the franchise. "I don't want the outside publications to interfere with what we're doing and demoralize our people," he said. "That's one thing I admire about [Green Bay Packers GM] Ted Thompson -- he does not let outside influences affect what he's doing when it comes to the Draft and [all] that." The group did not discuss a potential postseason roster. Melvin said that those decisions can be made later if the Brewers continue their run.
General manager Doug Melvin said that the Brewers may wait until after the season to make an announcement about the 2013 coaching staff -- consistent, he said, with previous years.Asked about the prospect of changes, manager Ron Roenicke said, "I don't see any. If there was, there wouldn't be much. I think everybody is doing a good job, and I like the staff."