Lights-out Rodney returns to Seattle with Padres

Right-hander set Mariners' single-season saves record in 2014

Lights-out Rodney returns to Seattle with Padres

SEATTLE -- Padres reliever Fernando Rodney, who has not allowed an earned run this season, returns to the ballpark where just two seasons ago he set the Mariners' single-season record for saves.

The 39-year-old right-hander, signed as a free agent during the offseason, registered a club-record 48 saves in his first season with Seattle in 2014, which also led the Major Leagues that year. He was 1-6 with a 2.85 ERA and was named to the American League All-Star team for the second time.

Rodney struggled with the Mariners in 2015, posting a 5-5 record as his ERA ballooned to 5.68 over 54 games. He walked 25 batters in 50 2/3 innings, allowing eight home runs, compared with three homers allowed in 66 1/3 innings the previous season.

He was traded to the Cubs in late August and was 2-0 with an 0.75 ERA in 14 outings.

With the Padres, he has not allowed an earned run in 19 innings over 19 appearances with 10 saves.

Rodney shuts the door

"I really didn't know who he was coming into this season," first-year manager Andy Green said. "Obviously, when I met him, I loved the personality, loved the work ethic, loved the energy. He's been lights out in the bullpen for us up to this point in time. You couldn't ask for anything more."

"And, he's been a leader in every sense of the word. He's been a great teammate and guys absolutely love him and respond to him. We're thrilled to have him. I hope he comes out here and has the opportunity to see what he can show in Seattle."

Worth noting

• Right-hander Cesar Vargas, placed on the 15-day DL on Sunday with right elbow soreness, is scheduled for an MRI when the team returns home, Green said. In his last outing on Saturday, Vargas lasted just 1 2-3 innings, allowing seven runs on six hits.

• Although the Padres have not made an official announcement, the likely starting pitcher on Thursday against the Mariners will be rookie right-hander Colin Rea, who was optioned to Triple-A El Paso on May 23.

"He threw one inning down in the minor leagues yesterday," Green said. "He's available to come back on Thursday and start for us then. It's a good possibility, but no announcement on that right now."

Rea was 3-2 with a 4.47 ERA in 10 appearances -- nine starts -- with San Diego this season. He went 2-2 in six starts last season after being called up in August.

Jim Hoehn is a contributor to MLB.com who covered the Padres on Monday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.