Rodney: "I'm ready to go" for season
UPDATE, 12:22: Rays Maddon said Rodney will pitch in two exhibitions - March 27 vs. #Jays in Port Charlotte and March 30 vs. Tigers at Trop. Maddon acknowledged they won't really know what residual effect WBC had on him until season in progress, did say they could look for spots to limite his usage during season, for example only 2 straight games rather than 3.
DEVELOPING: Closer Fernando Rodney returned to Rays camp on Thursday saying his heavy usage for the champion Dominican Republic team in the World Baseball Classic won't imapct his readiness for the major-league season.
"I'm ready to go right now for the season,'' Rodney said. "I feel good. .. I feel ready to go. My arm feels good, body, mentally, physically, everything's good. ... I don't feel any problems, I feel great.''
Rodney similarly said he isn't worried about any residual impact later in the season. "I don't think about September,'' he said. "I think about staying healthy. If I stay healthy I know I can do my job.''
Rodney said he tailored his off-season workouts to be ready for the WBC starting in November because "I wanted to represent my country 100 percent."
Rodney said the overall experience was great, and he knew from the first exhibition against the Phillies that the Dominican team had a good chance to win. "We played like a family,'' he said.
Rodney made some headlines by showing off his "magic plaintain" as a good luck charm during the tournament, but said he doesn't plan to have the fruit with him duirng the season: "WBC plantains.''
And he offered a slightly different story of how he ended up with it than he told reporters in San Francisco, saying he didn't have it flown in from the Dominican but got it from a fan/friend in exchange for signing a ball.