Ex-Cougar Rodriguez thriving as reliever


POSTED: Sunday, August 28, 2011 - 7:17pm

UPDATED: Sunday, August 28, 2011 - 10:43pm

Fernando Rodriguez is nine years into his professional career, but he's still relatively new at the relief pitcher thing. He made the transition to the bullpen from the rotation late in the 2008 season while with Triple-A Salt Lake of the Angels organization.

Rodriguez initially took the move as a demotion, but he's flourished in a relief role and has spent most of this season on the Major League roster. He had appeared in 36 games prior to Sunday and was 2-3 with a 3.35 ERA with 45 strikeouts in 40 1/3 innings.

"I always wanted to be a starter, and once they threw me in the bullpen I was thinking my career was over," said Rodriguez, a Texas native who was drafted by the Angels in 2003 and signed by the Astros as a Minor League free agent last winter.

Rodriguez, who had appeared in only one Major League game prior to this season, hopes he has found a home in Houston, but he's not going to take anything for granted.

"Every day is always a battle because nothing's for sure," he said. "You have to go out there and do your job, and even on days you don't get it done, you've just got to realize what you did wrong. You have to not make the same mistakes the next time you're in the same situation. I'm trying to throw it all out there for them and putting it on the table to show them what I can do."

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