Joe Maddon on Fernando Rodney: 'We'll give him a soft landing'

LOS ANGELES -- New Chicago Cubs reliever Fernando Rodney is hoping manager Joe Maddon’s familiarity with the righty will pay off as the pitcher tries to turn around his season.

Rodney intimated he wasn’t in much of a rhythm with the Seattle Mariners, for whom he produced a 5.68 ERA while saving 16 of 22 games, giving up 51 hits and 25 walks in just 50 innings. Will the change of scenery make a difference?

“He knows my routine,” Rodney said of Maddon, who managed Rodney while with the Rays.

Rodney won’t be closing for the Cubs as Maddon said he’ll give him a “soft landing.”

“He has to get out there and play a little bit,” Maddon said. “The idea would be to get Fernando out there, his feet on the ground and see what it looks like.”

Maddon and pitching coach Chris Bosio have some ideas for Rodney to get him going in the right direction. If things work out in a less stressful role, Rodney could be used in more high-leverage situations, giving set-up man Pedro Strop a break.

The Cubs had the same plan for another former Maddon reliever, Rafael Soriano, but he's on the disabled list with a sore shoulder. So first things first, Rodney has to prove he can get people out as he savors a chance to revive his season.

“Every time you turn on the television, you see the Cubs on the highlights,” Rodney said. “It’s a good team.”

As for his infamous “bow and arrow” gesture at the end of wins, Rodney says he’ll still use it if he gets the chance.

“The arrow is there,” Rodney stated. “As soon as I get a chance to show the arrow, you’re going to see it.”