Rodning competing for hometown team, staying ready for Blue Jays

Rodning competing for hometown team, staying ready for Blue Jays

GAYLORD, Minn. (KEYC) — The MLB plans to begin the 2020 season in July after being delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, and one of our area pitchers hopes to be called up to ‘The Show'.

”Not only does he help on the mound, but he’s actually a pretty good hitter too. Don’t tell him I told you that,” said McKoy Rodning, Brody’s brother and member of the Gaylord Islanders.

The Gaylord Islanders’ Brody Rodning is doing it all for the local town ball team this summer, putting on a show in the batter’s box and out on the mound.

“He’s that extra spark. We’ve got a better attitude in the dugout,” said McKoy Rodning.

The left-handed pitcher was supposed to be playing professionally in the Toronto Blue Jays organization this season, but with everything from Minor League to Major League baseball on pause, Rodning is back at home continuing to improve his craft by recording innings for the Islanders which means playing with familiar faces and pitching to his brother, McKoy.

“I miss it for sure, obviously I love pro ball. I’m blessed with what I have and where I’m at, but coming back and playing with your friends and brother, it’s awesome. I have a great time,” said Brody Rodning.

“Thankfully they gave him an opportunity to compete. Last week was Father’s Day, and it was the first time that we got to play and see both boys play, that was kind of my gift, and it’s awesome to see them play again,” said Brian Rodning, Brody and McKoy’s father.

So far, Brody has yet to allow a hit in two outings for the Islanders.

“He’s obviously throwing harder than what most guys see, and just the movement on his ball. He throws a cut fastball and a sinking fastball. You never know what way that is going to go as a hitter, and his off-speed is pretty nasty too. It’s tough,” said McKoy.

“I just want to get innings in, get that game feel, game environment. Last year I didn’t pitch that much because I was hurt I probably only pitched nine innings, so my goal is to get some innings in. Get in a live game environment and pitch,” said Brody.

Now that the Major League season plans to return in July, the Rodnings hope Brody will get a call to compete with Toronto.

“This is fourth year in Minor League ball. I was kind of thinking this is a critical year for him. But he did get a call yesterday from the Blue Jays. They know he’s pitching now, and they asked him, when can you be ready if we need you. They’re getting their rosters ready, he’s got to be ready. He could get a call. They also said they may do a fall league. He might end up pitching amateur ball the whole year, or he could get called tonight. Whatever it is, we’re just thankful for the opportunity to play amateur ball and be with his buddies here,” said Brian.

“Everybody wants to come down and watch him play. It’s pretty cool. He’s definitely on a different level, and people like to watch that. It’s great to have him home,” said McKoy.

And the Islanders will happily take all those stellar performances from Rodning.

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