New Detroit Tigers closer to be, Bruce Rondon threw 22 pitches yesterday in an outing against the Houston Astros in Kissimmee, Florida. Rondon faced four batters and walked two of them, albeit not allowing a ball in play. However, Rondon only threw nine of those 22 pitches for strikes. Yes it’s early in spring training, we are still in February, but it will be worth watching Rondon closely.
Detroit manager Jim Leyland chose to take the high road in his evaluation of the hard throwing right-hander. “He was wild,” Leyland said, “but I liked that 3-2 changeup to [Carlos] Pena.” Pena struck out on a 3-2 change up and apparently that’s a good sign for Leyland. Never mind that Pena will have nearly twice as many strikeouts this year for the Astros as he will have hits. Last year Pena struck out 182 times and had 98 hits. Yes the change-up was good, but a properly placed fastball would have had the same outcome.
Rondon was unable to finish his inning after back-to-back four pitch walks to Tyler Greene and Jose Altuve elevated his pitch count. Again it’s early in the spring, the field was wet, and it was raining, but nine strikes out of 22 pitches won’t get it done going forward.
Tigers News: Brennan Boesch hopes to be back by the middle of next week as he continues to recover from a strained oblique. Quintin Berry was knocked out of Tuesday’s game between the Tigers and Astros with patellar tendinitis in his knee. Andy Dirks is still nursing sore intracostal muscles.