Tigers relief pitcher Bruce Rondon has been sent home by the Tigers because of his "effort" level, according to manager Brad Ausmus, Chris Iott of MLive.com reports. The powerful right-hander has blown his last two save opportunities, inflating his ERA and WHIP to 5.81 and 1.61, respectively, but it sounds like this decision may have more to with Rondon's work ethic and attitude in the clubhouse than performance. It's not entirely clear if Rondon will be back this season, but Alex Wilson and Neftali Feliz are considered the top options to close in his absence.
Brad Ausmus must either have a long leash or he is really desperate to finally find a dependable closer for his Tigers. Maybe it's both, but he gave another chance Tuesday night in Kansas City to Bruce Rondon, who has been getting clobbered of late. This time, however, he came through with a scoreless ninth to earn his third save. The appearance was marred only by one walk. Rondon arrived on the mound having allowed six runs on seven hits and four walks over his prevous 4 2/3 innings.
It appearently doesn't matter that Bruce Rondon blew a save for the Tigers Saturday night against Houston. Brad Ausmus has declared that he is now their closer. Detroit has struggled to find a competent one until Joakim Soria managed a consistent run in that role before he was traded. Ausmus hopes Rondon can take the job and run with it. "If we had a save tomorrow, he would close," he told MLive.com. Rondon allowed a game-tying homer to Preston Tucker in the ninth inning after throwing 6 2/3 shutout innings in which he nailed down two saves.
Brad Ausmus appears to be leaning toward Bruce Rondon as the closer for the Tigers moving forward. Rondon has earned two saves since Saturday, but that is partially due to the absence of Alex Wilson, who is dealing with shoulder fatigue. The former had been considered the closer of the future, but had failed to take hold of the job. Then Tommy John surgery sidelined him throughout 2014. "The way Rondon has been pitching, I may end up giving him some more opportunities," Ausmus told the Detroit Free Press. "Doesn't mean all of them. Rondon is obviously going to need days (off) as well, and Wilson would get opportunities then." Wilson owns a 1.72 ERA in 42 games this season with 33 strikeouts in 57 2/3 innings.
Tigers pitcher Bruce Rondon closed the door on the Royals on Wednesday to earn his second save of the season. Rondon entered in the ninth inning with a three-run lead and walked one batter before recording the final three outs. He also struck out one and is 2 for 2 in save chances this season.