August 6th, 2012
Bruce Rondon and his triple-digit fastball allowed just two earned runs on 15 hits over 21 2/3 innings for Double-A Erie, essentially overmatching most of the Eastern League. The Tigers have decided to give him a new challenge by stepping him up a level with a month to go in the minor-league season.
Detroit made it official on Monday, promoting him from Erie to Triple-A Toledo. The Tigers have made no announcement nor statements about whether Rondon could end up being a September call-up to Detroit once rosters expand, but this move will probably fuel the speculation.
Rondon is 21 years old and has regularly topped 100 mph on radar guns at ballparks big and small. He hit 102 mph on the Kauffman Stadium radar gun at last month’s All-Star Futures Game. That kind of fastball, no doubt, can make an impact in the big leagues. The question is whether that impact will come this year.
“I’m just going to keep working hard and we will see what happens in the future,” Rondon told reporters at the Futures Game. “We don’t know what’s going happen tomorrow. All I can do this control how hard I work.”
The move coincides with an injury to Mud Hens closer Chris Bootcheck Sunday night. However, Tigers vice president/assistant GM Al Avila said in an email, “In our evaluation, Rondon was ready to be moved to Toledo.”
Andy Dirks gets the start in left field, batting second in Quintin Berry’s place.
- Austin Jackson, cf
- Andy Dirks, lf
- Miguel Cabrera, 3b
- Prince Fielder, 1b
- Brennan Boesch, rf
- Delmon Young, dh
- Alex Avila, c
- Jhonny Peralta, ss
- Omar Infante, 2b
P: Justin Verlander
- Curtis Granderson, cf
- Derek Jeter, ss
- Robinson Cano, 2b
- Mark Teixeira, 1b
- Raul Ibanez, lf
- Nick Swisher, rf
- Eric Chavez, 3b
- Ichiro Suzuki, dh
- Russell Martin, c
P: Ivan Nova
Miguel Cabrera doesn’t look for many pitches to pull, and he says that was the case with his at-bat against Indians closer Chris Perez. Yet all four of his hits off Perez in eight career meetings have gone to left field, including the walkoff home run that completed a five-run 10th inning for a 10-8 win Sunday afternoon at Comerica Park.
“I was looking for one pitch to drive the other way, try to hit it hard to the gap,” Cabrera said. “But he fell behind in the count, 3-1, so I was saying stay aggressive and try to hit it hard.”
Asked if he thought the ball was headed out, Cabrera said, “Oh, it was a little scary. It was high. I was not sure it was getting out, but I’m glad it went out.”
Other quotes from the win …
Austin Jackson on Chris Perez: “We haven’t really had too much success off of him. But that just shows what type of team we have. We kept battling even though we were down. Miggy’s been coming up with the clutch hits all year. That was incredible.”
Infante on his hit: “I feel bad because when Jackson made the triple [in the ninth], I had the opportunity for a walkoff and I don’t make contact in that situation. It didn’t work out. But the team was never down all game. I had another situation, and in that situation I wanted to make contact. [Perez] threw me a slider and I made contact to center field. That’s why I feel good. I made a base hit in that situation to tie the game.”
Infante on the win: “Oh, wow. I think that’s the best win I’ve ever seen. With two outs, a good pitcher, that’s the best win I’ve seen.”
Perez on the loss: “That’s what makes this so much worse, the fight that our hitters showed. Obviously, everybody knows we’re playing bad ball and this has been a terrible road trip. But to keep coming back, adding one on, and keep coming back, adding one on, put three up in extra innings, and then watch me [give] it away, it just sucks.”