PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. (AP) - Fernando Rodney chuckles and shrugs his shoulders at the suggestion that regardless of the way he pitches the rest of his career, he may never replicate the success he enjoyed last season.
The Tampa Bay closer set a major league record for earned run average by a relief pitcher in 2012, when he rebounded from a disappointing pair of seasons with the Los Angeles Angels to convert 48 of 50 save opportunities and finish with a sparkling 0.60 ERA in his first year with the Rays.
Besides ranking second in the majors in saves behind Jim Johnson's 51 for Baltimore, the 35-year-old was a first-time All-Star, topped the big leagues in save percentage, and set career highs for appearances and strikeouts.
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