Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Francisco Rodriguez throws out New York Mets Angel Pagan in the eighth inning of a baseball game, Sunday, Aug. 21, 2011, in New York. Pagan hit a line drive that hit Rodriguez, who had to scramble to retrieve the ball to make the out. The Brewers won 6-2. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)AP2011
The Brew Crew is in first place in the National League Central, they're coasting to the playoffs, and are considered one of the teams to beat come October – but one of its players is unhappy.
The former closer misses shutting the door in the ninth innings of games. Rodriguez first told CBSSports.com on Tuesday night that he was no longer happy with his role, and was even more pointed on Wednesday.
"I'm not happy. That's the bottom line for me," Rodriguez said. "They told me one thing; they haven't done it, and I stand by what I said."
The Brewers sketched out a plan when they acquired Rodriguez to share save opportunities with Axford when they acquired the season saves record-holder for two minor leaguers.
But while Axford has converted 39 consecutive saves and 42 of 44 chances this season, Rodriguez has only finished one game — that in a non-save situation.
"His mentality is a closer. I feel bad about not being able to get him in some situations also. I don't want to ever have a guy come over, and you kind of have this thing mapped out they way ideally it goes, and it doesn't go that way at all," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "So I feel bad about it, too."
Rodriguez, a free agent to be, has gone 3-0 with a 2.31 ERA in 25 appearances with Milwaukee. Axford has a 0.99 ERA with 19 saves in 27 games since Rodriguez joined the staff.
Previously, Rodriguez had called the move to the eighth inning a tough adjustment, but understood it because of how well Axford has pitched.
"Don't tell me something you're not going to do. That's what irritates me most. They told me they were going to do something, and they didn't. Simple as that," Rodriguez said. "I'm pretty much trying to come in every day, ready to pitch, and get my job done when they needed me.
"But at the same time, I had an expectation like every other player. They told me they were going to do something, and they didn't. That's why I'm a little disappointed with the situation."
Rodriguez said he has not spoken to Roenicke about his frustration and he's waiting for the right moment. Roenicke, a member of the Angels staff when Rodriguez played there from 2002-08, said Rodriguez's frustration hasn't affected his performances on the field, but if they needed to have an in-depth conversation, he would.
"Frankie's been really good. He hasn't been in an ideal situation here, for him. He has been for us because he's been great. He's pitched great. His attitude on the field has been great. He's getting along great with his teammates," Roenicke said. "Frankie's a closer and that's what he wants to do. When I don't have him in those situations, or those opportunities for him, it bothers him. Does it bother him to the point where it affects what's going on here? I don't think so. At least it hasn't so far."
Rodriguez is looking forward to the season's conclusion.
"The season's about to end in two weeks, and we need to win eight more games," Rodriguez said. "So I'll go as hard as I can the next two series coming up and try to wrap them up now. That's it. That's the bottm line now. That's the most important thing."
Based on reporting by The Associated Press.