Tigers right-hander Bruce Rondon will have Tommy John surgery, GM Dave Dombrowski announced. Rondon felt some discomfort earlier this week, and subsequent tests showed the torn elbow ligament. The team is hopeful he will be ready for the start of the 2015 season.
Rondon, 23, had a 3.45 ERA (122 ERA+) with 30 strikeouts and 11 walks in 28 2/3 innings last season, his MLB debut. He averaged 97.9 mph with his fastball during those 28 2/3 innings according to PitchFX. Rondon was slated to be the team's primary setup man.
Dombrowski said the club will look to replace Rondon internally. Joba Chamberlain, Al Alburquerque and Ian Krol seem like the obvious candidates to get the ball to new closer Joe Nathan.
Rondon is the latest young pitcher to need Tommy John surgery this spring. Patrick Corbin, Kris Medlen, Brandon Beachy, Jarrod Parker and Luke Hochevar all blew out their elbows this month.