Is it too soon for Mariners to remove Fernando Rodney as closer?

Rodney was yanked as Angels' closer after two games in 2011; the Mariners ought to consider the same action

Mike Scioscia would not put up with Fernando Rodney's chronic high-wire act. Scioscia generally grants his veterans a long leash but, two games into the 2011 season, he yanked Rodney from his role as the Angels' closer.

The Seattle Mariners ought to consider the same drastic action. For the Mariners -- a team with World Series aspirations, and the trendy pick to win the American League West -- a slow start would be compounded by the weight of expectations for the first playoff appearance since 2001.

Rodney's performance has been dreadful this season. He coughed up a four-run lead to the Oakland Athletics on Sunday -- the Mariners came back to win the game -- and blew the save against the Dodgers in his next appearance  Tuesday.

On Tuesday, four of five batters reached base against him. For the season, 11 of 19 batters have reached base against him.

He has one strikeout among those 19 batters, and an earned-run average of 16.20.

Rodney struck out 10.3 batters per nine innings last season. He did have an ERA of 2.85, and Mariners Manager Lloyd McClendon recently has expressed confidence that Rodney will rebound.

Rodney expressed the same confidence after Tuesday's game. "It's only the eighth game of the season," he told reporters.

But, as Yogi Berra could tell you, it gets late early out there.

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