All-Angels Team: Closing Pitcher

By Brian Helberg
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Francisco Rodriguez (2002-2008)

Francisco Rodriguez was just a rookie in 2002 when the Angels threw him out there in the 8th inning of game seven of the World Series with everything on the line. Frankie responded by striking out the side, and setting the Halos up for their first World Championship. K-Rod joined the Angels organization in 1998 when he was signed as an amateur free agent out of Venezuela. Rodriguez made his debut in September of 2002, and helped propel the Angels into the postseason. Known for his violent delivery and powerful arsenal, Frankie remains one of the best relief pitchers in baseball at age 32.

Francisco Rodriguez was the club’s closer for just four full seasons, but he ranks second on the Angels all-time saves list with 208 career saves. K-Rod set the MLB single season record for saves in season back in 2008 when he tallied 62. Frankie was named an All-Star three times as an Angel, and finished in the top five for the Cy Young on three separate occasions. Rodriguez struck out a remarkable 11.7 hitters per 9 innings during his tenure in Anaheim. Control was not always K-Rod’s strong suit, as on average he allowed 3.9 walks per 9 innings. He allowed just 6.1 hits, and 0.7 home runs per 9 innings. Rodriguez struggled in October as the Angels closer. K-Rod went 5-4 with 3 saves, and a 3.13 ERA over 21 career postseason appearances with Anaheim. Frankie registered a 16.1 WAR during his time with the Halos, good for the second highest total for a relief pitcher in team history.