"Frankie can still throw 96, 97 [mph] any time he wants to," said Kinzer, who had fielded "four or five" early phone calls from clubs about Rodriguez on the first day of open bidding. Citing evidence, Kinzer returned to Sept. 24 at Angel Stadium, when Rodriguez notched his 62nd and final save of his record-shattering season.
"In the last series the Angels had against the Mariners, Frankie threw 96, 96, 97 to strike out Raul Ibanez [leading off the ninth inning]," Kinzer said. "After the game, Frankie laughed and said, 'See? I told you so.'
"He'd been telling me that he cut down the velocity to make his changeup more effective. He found that when he was throwing in the mid-90s, his changeup came up in velocity and was almost like a batting-practice fastball."
Throwing his fastball in the low 90s, Kinzer said, "gave him a better feel for his changeup. He was able to keep it at a speed where it was effective. That became a great third pitch for him this year [along with the fastball and big curveball]. He proved that he doesn't have to be a power pitcher to be effective. He can do it both ways.
"I told the Mets to go back and look at the tape of Frankie pitching to Ibanez if they don't believe me."