John Harper of the New York Daily News has been reporting on a rumor that Francisco Rodriguez’s decreased velocity last season has been a source of hesitation for the Mets. Harper reported yesterday,
"…a source said the Mets ’have concerns’ about… K-Rod’s dip in velocity, from 95-96 mph a couple of years ago to 91-92 mph this year, also is a concern as he seeks a long-term deal.
"His velocity was down and he had back-to-back years of heavy use," the source said. "The history in those cases for most guys is that it catches up to you."
A legitimate concern that every ball club should be scrutinizing but not something a player’s agent(s) are ever keen to be publicized. And in another article updated last night, Harper published their immediate response:
"K-Rod’s agent, Paul Kinzer, insists that such talk is misinformed. He says that Rodriguez is more comfortable throwing his fastball at lower velocities because it gives him better command. ’I saw him hit 96 (mph) twice and 97 once late in the season…" Kinzer said Saturday. "The velocity is there when he needs to reach back for it. He told me he’s just more comfortable around 92-93.
’He says he has a better feel for his change-up when he’s not overthrowing his fastball, and his change-up has become a big part of his arsenal.’"
I’m surprised Kinzer could not muster up a more convincing defense considering his client, due to his violent delivery, has long been considered a potential for injury.
In that same article, Harper cites a source that says the Mets are looking to sign a closer for no longer than three years.