Lefty Rhodes could move into specialist role

Lefty Rhodes could move into specialist role

ST. PETERSBURG -- Arthur Rhodes may start being used as a situational left-hander. Rhodes, who gave up a two-run home run to Rays right-handed slugger Evan Longoria on Tuesday night, went into Wednesday's game holding opposing left-handers to a .190 batting average.

But right-handers were hitting .300 off him with three home runs in 30 at-bats, and that may force manager Ron Washington to re-think how he uses Rhodes.

"He has been a guy who has been able to go through a lineup when it is left-right-left-right," Washington said. "But with his struggles, I've got to protect him more. When I bring him in, I've got to make sure I have protection."

That means Washington will likely have a right-hander warming up in the bullpen. Washington didn't have one warming up on Tuesday, and Rhodes ended up facing Longoria.

"When I have Arthur in there, I'll have a right-hander ready in case," Washington said. "That doesn't mean a right-hander is coming in."

Right-handers hit .182 off Rhodes last season with the Reds. They have hit .243 off him in his career.