Maddon trusts Rodney's struggles won't linger

Maddon trusts Rodney's struggles won't linger

ST. PETERSBURG -- Fernando Rodney has allowed four earned runs in seven appearances this season after allowing five earned runs in 76 appearances last year. But Rays manager Joe Maddon does not sound concerned about his closer.

"This is what I do believe," Maddon said. "I believe we have really good relief pitchers. I believe to this point, it really hasn't gone our way, but if we continue to put him in the right spots, they're going to pitch a lot like they did last year."

Maddon allowed that it is "unreasonable" to expect Rodney to have another season like he had in 2012, which was an historic season by the Dominican right-hander.

"But he's going to be really good again," Maddon said. "I mean, he has been. And you're going to see another very productive [season], high end -- he's among the best closers in baseball. ... It's going to happen."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.