Rays' Rodney is AL Comeback Player of Year

Oct. 19, 2012 at 1:37 PM
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Oct. 19 (UPI) -- Fernando Rodney of Tampa Bay Friday was named American League Comeback Player of the Year and Delivery Man of the Year, an award given to baseball's top closer.

Rodney went 2-2 with 48 saves in 2012 and set a Major League single-season record with an ERA of 0.60 -- eclipsing the record Dennis Eckersley set in 1990. He allowed 43 hits in 74 2/3 innings pitched and struck out 76 while issuing just 15 walks.

The Rays went 90-72 to finish third in the AL East, five games behind the first-place New York Yankees.

Rodney had gone from being a premier closer for the Detroit Tigers, where he had 37 saves in 2009, to an ineffective reliever in Los Angeles, where he had just 17 saves over two seasons with the Angels (2010-11) and pitched just 32 innings in 2011.

He signed with Tampa Bay as a free agent in January after pitching during the off-season in the Dominican Republic. Signed initially as bullpen insurance, Rodney was pressed into service when Tampa Bay closer Kyle Farnsworth landed on the disabled list to start the season, mlb.com reported.

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