The skinny on Fernando Rodney: The cap, the arrow, the numbers and more
So, the Diamondbacks have reportedly reached a one-year, low-risk, $2.75 million deal with 39-year-old Fernando Rodney (he turns 40 in March), ostensibly to give him the opportunity to be their closer in 2017.
You probably know Rodney mostly because of his unique sideways-angled-flat-billed cap and his trademark arrow shooting upon completing a save.
Rodney says he wears his cap tilted to the left side of his head as a tribute to his father — Ulise Rodney — who died six days before Fernando made his major league debut with the Tigers in 2002. Ulise was a fisherman in the Dominican Republic and wore his cap tilted to the side because “that's the side the sun hits his face.”
He also says the tilted cap can be confusing for both hitters and base-runners. “The hitter looks for your eyes. It's like a dog. When you go somewhere, the first thing (a dog) looks at is your eyes and how you move.”
Rodney said he started shooting an arrow skyward upon completing a save during the 2012 season. “That comes from my hometown,” he said. “They have a little community; they call it 'la flecha' (Spanish for arrow).”
Rodney has a reputation as a fun-loving prankster who imitates animal sounds such as roosters, dogs and birds and is also known for a Kermit the Frog impression.
Rodney's Twitter account is F_Rodney56.
He has worn No. 56 since making his major-league debut with the Tigers in 2002 — with the lone exception of five weeks spent with the Cubs following a trade late in the 2015 season. (He wore No. 57 instead.)
Lefty Steve Hathaway wore No. 56 for the Diamondbacks last season.
The Diamondbacks will be his eighth team — following the Tigers, Rays, Angels, Mariners, Cubs, Padres and Marlins.
He is a three-time All-Star. In 2012, he had 48 saves and an 0.60 ERA for the Rays. In 2014, he led the AL with 48 saves for the Mariners. In 2016, he had an 0.31 ERA (one earned run) in 28 games for the Padres, but a 5.89 ERA in 39 games after being traded to Miami.
His 261 career saves are fifth among active pitchers, behind Francisco Rodriguez, Joe Nathan, Jonathan Papelbon and Huston Street.