Rondon has signed a contract for 2017 with the Chunichi Dragons, the Japan Times reports. Rondon appeared in two games for Pittsburgh last season. At age 28, he could return to MLB after pitching in Japan for a season or two.
Rondon was designated for assignment Friday, Stephen J. Nesbitt of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. Juan Nicasio's return from the restricted list meant that the Pirates needed clear a spot in the bullpen, and Rondon was the casualty Friday. Rondon appeared in two games during his brief stint with the big league club, allowing one run over two innings against the Cubs before having a six-run meltdown against the Giants two days later. He'll now be placed on waivers and could rejoin the organization if he goes unclaimed.
Rondon had his contract selected by the Pirates on Saturday, Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. The 27-year-old Rondon is one of two hard-throwing right-handers the Pirates brought up to their bullpen in advance of Saturday's game against the Cubs. Rondon has spent the season at Triple-A Indianapolis, where he's notched a 1.91 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP across 33.0 innings. He figures to serve in a middle relief role while up with the Pirates.
Rondon gave up two earned runs on four hits and a walk including three strikeouts in two innings of work against Cincinnati on Saturday. In 14.3 innings of work last year for Baltimore and Colorado, Rodon gave up 28 hits and nine walks leading to a 13.19 ERA and 2.58 WHIP. At 28 years old, he still has time to show that he can compete at the major league level, however, he will have to prove himself at Triple-A Indianapolis in the meantime before a permanent role in the big leagues becomes a reality.
Rondon was outrighted to Triple-A Indianapolis on Wednesday. Rondon spent most of 2015 with minor league affiliates of the Orioles and Rockies. He spent most of his time at Triple-A Norfolk, where the right-hander struck out 46 batters over 54 innings. Rondon now appears poised to remain with the Pirates for the start of 2016, where he'll look to pitch his way back into the majors.
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