Fernando Rodney brings more than just bow and arrow to A's clubhouse

ANAHEIM This is a new situation for Fernando Rodney. Though hes racked up 325 saves over 16 big league seasons, Rodney wont be closing games for the As. Heck, he might not even pitch in the eighth or seventh inning. And thats fine with him.

Rodney will gladly sacrifice not being a closer with the As for a chance to pitch in the postseason for the fifth time in his career, something that was impossible with the dead in the water Minnesota Twins. Like most contributors on this surprise As squad that finds itself in the lead for the second American League wild card spot, he just wants help out however he can.

Whatever role they give me Im gonna try to do my job to help the team win, Rodney said. Ive been closing in the past, but the situation for me right now is not about when Im gonna pitch, just try to help this team get to the postseason.

The right-hander was a bit surprised to learn of the trade, which he didnt find out about until Thursday night after the Twins lost to the Cleveland Indians. Rodney had figured since the rumors that swirled near the trade deadline never came to fruition that he would stick around with Minnesota the rest of the season.

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But it was a good surprise. Rodney has kept an eye on the club from afar, aware of the noise theyve been making as the best club in baseball since June 16 with a record of 34-11.

Theyve got a lot of energy, theyre hungry and they want to win, Rodney said. Its a good team. The way they play baseball right now, theyre dangerous. Nobody in this division wants to play the As.

Now on his 10th different club, its no surprise Rodney, 41, has played with a few guys on this team. He played with Edwin Jackson in Detroit and Ryan Buchter in San Diego.

Another guy he played with was Jeurys Familia, another bullpen upgrade the As acquired last month. The two played together in the 2017 World Baseball Classic for the Dominican Republic national team.

Familia said Dominicans are very prideful about seeing other fellow countrymen have success in the big leagues. 13 years younger than the newest As pitcher, Familia said he was starstruck when he first shared the clubhouse with Rodney in the WBC. Familia considers Rodney a legend and said he will definitely use the veteran as a resource whenever he needs advice.

When you have a guy like him whos been around for so long, its good for us younger guys to be able to go to him for help, Familia said. Ask questions and not be afraid. I think hes gonna be a monumental help for us both in the clubhouse and in games.

Though hes not expected to pitch in the back end much, As manager Bob Melvin said Rodney could see some time there whenever Lou Trivino, Jeurys Familia, or Blake Treinen need some rest.

Well see how it goes with the deployment, Melvin said. Weve been doing pretty good at the back end, but I think more than anything it allows us to not overuse a Lou Trivino or Yusmeiro Petit. As much as we like to use guys on certain days, were not afraid to move him to the back end if somebody needs a day off.

The signature crooked cap hes been known to wear over the years will continue. Rodney said its a tribute to his late father, who was a fisherman and often wore his hat to the side in order to block the sun.

As for his famous bow and arrow routine, Rodney said he now only does it after a save. Figuring he wont get much of those opportunities with Oakland, Rodney will try to come up with somethign new after ending an inning.

If its not a save situation and you see something different, dont be surprised, Rodney said. Im not sure yet, but Im gonna do something special.

Chris Hatcher was designated for assignment before Friday nights game against the Angels in order to make room for Rodney on the active roster. The As had struggled to find opportunities for Hatcher lately, who was scuffling with a 4.24 ERA over 30 relief appearances. If he goes through waivers unclaimed, Melvin would love to be able to retain him and bring him up at some point in September.

Hatch was really good for us. Last year he came here and pitched the eighth inning for us and the guys really like him, Melvin said. We really appreciate what he did. My guess is hell catch on with somebody else. If not, hopefully we can get him back.