Rondon signed a minor-league contract which includes an invitation to big-league camp with the Phillies on Tuesday, Scott Lauber of The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
The Phillies will be hoping they get the pitcher Rondon was with the Astros in 2018 and 2019, when he recorded a combined 3.46 ERA and 1.29 WHIP. He wasn't anything close to that guy with the Diamondbacks last year, struggling to a 7.65 ERA and 1.80 WHIP over 20 frames as his walk rate rose to 11.3 percent and his groundball rate fell to 35.5 percent. Heading into his age-33 season, a bounceback is far from guaranteed, but the risk of a minor-league deal is obviously quite low for the Phillies.
Rondon's contract option was declined by the Diamondbacks on Wednesday, Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports.
Rondon struggled in his first season with the Diamondbacks, as he posted a 7.65 ERA and 1.80 WHIP over 20 innings across 23 relief appearances during the abbreviated 2020 campaign. The right-hander has worked as a late-inning reliever throughout his career, but he may have to settle for a lower-leverage role entering his age-33 season.
Rondon allowed one hit over one scoreless inning in Friday's 6-3 win over the Astros.
Rondon, who picked up his fourth hold in his last six outings, has turned around a dismal start and slowly trimmed an ERA that was over 10.00 as recently as Aug. 25. In his last nine appearances, the right-handed reliever's given up one run over 8.2 innings (1.04 ERA) while striking out 12. Rondon is now pitching high-leverage assignments and has his ERA down to 6.50.
Rondon allowed three runs on two hits while striking out one over one inning in Sunday's 6-1 loss to San Francisco.
Arizona manager Torey Lovullo has yet to find the right combination of relievers to handle high-leverage innings or get games to closer Archie Bradley, and that issue came up again in this series sweep at the hands of the Giants. A day after Matt Grace let a tied game get out of hand in the eighth inning, Rondon let a one-run game escalate by surrendering a three-run homer to Alex Dickerson in the seventh inning. Rondon has allowed runs in seven of his 12 outings this year; on the whole, the one-time setup man has given up 12 runs, four home runs and six walks over 9.1 innings.
Rondon allowed one run on one hit while striking out one and recorded his first hold in Saturday's 3-2 win over the Padres.
Rondon entered in the eighth inning with two runs of insurance and gave up one of them on a Fernando Tatis solo home run. The right-handed reliever was signed by the Diamondbacks in the offseason to be part of the setup crew, but Rondon has not delivered in 2020. He's allowed runs in four of six outings, surrendering three home runs over 4.1 innings.
Rondon allowed two runs on two hits and three walks while striking out one over two-thirds of an inning in Wednesday's 7-4 loss to the Rangers.
Rondon and Andrew Chafin before him combined to give up five runs, the fifth time this season Arizona pitching surrendered at least three runs in an inning. Rondon is expected to be part of the setup crew, but in two appearances, he's failed twice in the late innings. He's given up four runs on four hits (one HR) and four walks over one inning.
Rondon is expected to be the setup reliever for closer Archie Bradley, Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports.
Rondon said he's not picky about about having a particular role, but he wants to know what the role is. "If you know your role, it's in your mind that you could throw the seventh or the eighth and you can prepare your body or your mind for that inning," Rondon said. "If you don't know what situation you might come in, every time the phone rings you go, 'Is it me?' and it's hard to prepare." Rondon, 32, has extensive experience in late innings, including logging 92 saves during his seven MLB seasons. RotoWire slots Bradley among a group of closers with low job security, so Rondon could work his way into a prominent role with more fantasy relevance.
Rondon signed a one-year deal with a club option for a second season with the Diamondbacks on Wednesday, Nick Piecoro of The Arizona Republic reports.
Rondon is guaranteed $3 million, with $2.5 million of that coming in 2020 and $500,000 as a buyout on the team option. The veteran has 92 career saves to his name but probably profiles best as a setup man heading into his age-32 season. His solid 3.71 ERA in 60.2 innings for the Astros last season came with an unimpressive 4.96 FIP as he saw his strikeout rate plummet from 26.8 percent in 2018 to 18.7 percent in 2019.
Rondon will be on the Astros' ALDS roster.
Rondon didn't dominate this season, but his solid 3.71 ERA was still good enough for him to make the team. His 4.96 FIP hints at worse things to come, however, and he saw his strikeout rate plunge from 26.8 percent to 18.7 percent. The Astros will likely prefer to keep him in medium-leverage situations.
Rondon allowed a solo home run but picked up a hold in Friday's 5-4 win over the Angels.
Rondon entered the game in the eighth inning, the usual landing spot for Ryan Pressly, who is on the injured list with a knee injury. Rondon had been part of the back end of the bullpen in 2018 before the Astros acquired Pressly and Roberto Osuna, so he was a natural fill-in for a setup role.
Rondon (3-2) served as the opener in Tuesday's loss to the Angels, retiring only two batters and giving up six runs on five hits and a walk while striking out one.
After 396 games as a reliever, Rondon was given the opportunity to open a game for the first time in his career. Needless to say, the experiment did not go well, as the 31-year-old gave up five runs and allowed the first six Angels hitters to reach base before recording his first out. The blowup increased Rondon's ERA from 3.34 to 4.79 over 38 appearances.
Rondon will serve as the opener for Tuesday's game against the Angels, manager AJ Hinch told MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM.
The outing will technically be Rondon's first career start as a major leaguer, but it would be a surprise to see him pitch for much longer than an inning. The opener role isn't a very interesting one for fantasy purposes, as it guarantees that Rondon will face the toughest part of the Angels' order and removes even the slim possibility at earning a win. Rogelio Armenteros will pitch the bulk of the innings behind Rondon.
Rondon (3-1) worked around a leadoff double to pitch a scoreless seventh inning and earn the victory in Friday's 3-2 win over Oakland.
Rondon was the pitcher of record when Derek Fisher hit a go-ahead home run in the eighth inning. As he's done several times this season, Rondon was used in the seventh inning before Ryan Pressly and Roberto Osuna closed out a win. Rondon has a 2.70 ERA and 1.35 WHIP with eight holds in 2019.
Rondon allowed a hit in a scoreless seventh inning of Friday's 3-2 win over the Athletics.
Rondon had two clean appearances before allowing his first baserunner of the season. After serving as a closer and setup man in 2018, Rondon's role has shifted back a spot to the seventh inning, and he'll rarely be used beyond one inning of work.
Rondon struck out two batters over a hitless and scoreless inning Saturday against the Marlins.
There hasn't been much focus on Rondon or the Astros bullpen, which, aside from the final spot, was settled entering spring training. Rondon is set to begin the season as a high-leverage option, although he dropped a notch below Ryan Pressly.
Rondon won't get into a Grapefruit League game until Saturday against the Mets, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports.
Rondon isn't injured, but the Astros are nevertheless ramping him up slowly after too much work too fast last spring led to some fatigue. The veteran picked up 15 saves last season but could now be third in line after Roberto Osuna and Ryan Pressly.
Rondon was added to Houston's 25-man ALCS roster against Boston, Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports.
The Astros also added Joe Smith to the active roster while leaving Myles Straw and Will Harris off for the upcoming series. Rondon will provide a fresh arm in the Astros' bullpen versus an excellent Boston offense. On the year, he logged a 3.20 ERA and 1.32 WHIP.
Rondon was left off Houston's ALDS roster versus the Indians, Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports.
Manager A.J. Hinch elected to leave Rondon, Chris Devenski, Brad Peacock and Joe Smith off the 25-man roster after sorting through his options ahead of this series. Though Rondon posted a 3.20 ERA (2.83 FIP) this season, he had a few extremely rough outings recently, giving up multiple hits in his seven of his past 11 appearances and logging an 8.68 ERA during that span which dates back to late August. Since Hinch is able to switch around his roster after each postseason series, Rondon could be added back into the mix ahead of the ALCS should Houston advance.
Rondon struck out one and allowed two hits in a scoreless ninth inning to earn the save in Game 1 of Saturday's doubleheader against the Orioles.
Rondon had not recorded a save in more than a month but was called upon for the matinee Saturday. The 30-year-old has struggled in September by allowing nine runs and 16 hits in just 8.1 innings.
Manager A.J. Hinch said Rondon may need to alter his pitch usage to turn around his recent slide, Hunter Atkins of the Houston Chronicle reports. "His pitch usage could be altered a little bit," Hinch said. "You've got to find out when they're sitting fastball, when they're sitting slider, read swings a little bit better."
Rondon has picked up three losses and has a 10.50 ERA in seven September appearances. He lives off a high-90s fastball, throwing it more than 60 percent of the time and nearly 70 percent in September, and likes to attack the middle third of the plate. That's a dangerous place for pitchers to get comfortable. If a pitcher misses location when hitters are sitting on one particular pitch, loud noise may ensue. Opponents have a 1.056 OPS off the four-seamer during the month of September, per Brooks Baseball. The manager feels Rondon may be able to incorporate more sliders to keep opposing hitters off balance.
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