Rondon diagnosed with right shoulder tendinitis
Tigers reliever Bruce Rondon is considered day-to-day after an MRI exam showed tendinitis in his right shoulder, pitching coach Jeff Jones said Thursday morning.
The diagnosis came after Rondon was scratched from a scheduled relief appearance Wednesday against the Astros. Rondon, who struck out the side in order Tuesday, was scheduled to pitch a second straight game, one of the final hurdles towards being ready for Opening Day, but woke up with a sore shoulder.
A bout of tendinitis would make an Opening Day return seem difficult if not impossible. Still, considering the injuries the hard-throwing right-hander has had to overcome the last year and a half, it’s arguably good news compared to what the injury could have been.
The shoulder injury is not believed to be related to the sore neck that sidelined Rondon for a few days last week. It’s also not related to the elbow injury that led to season-ending Tommy John surgery about a year ago at this point.
If Rondon isn’t ready for Opening Day, his absence opens up a relief spot for somebody else. If manager Brad Ausmus wants a right-hander who can fill the Rondon type of situational role, rookie Angel Nesbitt is a likely candidate, having impressed with a mid- to upper-90s fastball and slider.
On the other hand, Ausmus hasn’t ruled out the idea of carrying three left-handed relievers, which would allow him to keep both hard-throwing southpaw Ian Krol and converted starter Kyle Ryan.