Rondon pitches perfect inning in second rehab outing

Bruce Rondon pitched a quicker, cleaner inning Sunday night in his second rehab appearance for Triple-A Toledo. The Tigers reliever retired the side in order for the Mud Hens in the eighth in just 10 pitches, six of them strikes.

Rondon hit 98 mph on the Fifth Third Stadium radar gun twice with his fastball, about the same as his previous outing Thursday (though he topped out at 99 mph on a pitch Thursday). He mixed in more offspeed pitches this time, including some pretty good sliders, and commanded the strike zone better.

“To me, he was much better today,” Mud Hens manager Larry Parrish said. “He had angle. And to me, he looked like two miles an hour slower, but much tougher to hit today. His delivery stayed together. He threw downhill, threw strikes, was down in the zone. Tonight, if he threw like that all the time, he’ll be successful at the next level.”

Rondon used a 96 mph fastball to get a first-pitch fly out to the left-field warning track from former Major Leaguer Luke Scott. Kevin Nolan flew out to center on a 2-2 slider, then Ryan Schimpf grounded out to first base on a 2-1 slider, with Rondon running over to cover the bag.

Mud Hens pitching coach Mike Maroth, who coached Rondon at Class A Lakeland a few years ago, said Rondon settled in after having extra adrenaline his first time out Thursday.

“Much better this time,” Maroth said. “Just not overthrowing the ball. Fastball had much better angle. He commanded his pitches better.”

Rondon, who pitched with a 4-0 deficit, earned the win when the Mud Hens rallied for eight runs in the bottom of the inning.

Rondon, on the 15-day disabled list since Opening Day with bicipital tendinitis, will travel with the Mud Hens on their 10-game road trip to Louisville, Indianapolis and Columbus. If he sticks to the current plan, he’ll likely spend the entire trip with the club, pitching back-to-back outings next Friday and Saturday before throwing an extended outing of 25-30 pitches, likely more than one inning, a few days later.

Also traveling with the Mud Hens is Buck Farmer, who is scheduled to start for the Tigers on Thursday against the Angels. He’s expected to fly west midweek and join the Tigers in Anaheim.

“He’s using all three of his pitches,” Parrish said of Farmer, 5-1 with a 2.89 ERA in nine starts with the Hens. “His changeup has been much better this year, a plus-pitch him. At times, it’s looked like a split. He just looks a year older, a little more mature than he was last year.”

8 Comments

This team needs more than a recurring arm problem with a hitta let heater.
It needs to believe in itself and some collective soul.
It also cannot afford the luxury of a manager contributing to the Loss column

About Sánchez with 111 pitches:
“No,” Ausmus said, then chuckled. “No, I didn’t. He’s actually better against lefties than he is against righties. This is where we are in this day and age is: If it doesn’t work then it was the wrong move. If it does work, it was the right move. Quite frankly, I didn’t. Sanchie against lefties with his changeup is very effective.”

Ridiculous. Sanchez’ changeup against lefties is a good one but not when he is over 110 pitches and visibly losing command.
Ausmus will lose fans’ respect with each loss he is prominent in.

Things that could be fixed:
Ian starting to think about hitting to RF again.
Cespedes hacking at first pitch fastballs and hanging sliders instead of being suckered into swinging at everything in the dirt.
Castellanos laying off the down and away soft stuff.
Redundancy of middle infielders on the roste. Perez needs to play somewhere. And not here.
Collins is not the LHB off the bench option.
If you want to play Rajai in the field when Gose is playing then he should be swapped with Cespedes. He is brutal in RF and yes, it does make a difference for outfielders.
I like seeing Miggy happy but I would rather see him smiling in the late innings more.
Ausmus taking a few pages from Sparky’s (Captain Hook) book.

Remembering those who sacrificed all in defense of their country, especially the ones who made it possible for us to even watch a baseball game on this day.
If we’re done ripping on Cabrera (shakes head), let’s look ahead.
Kinsler and Cespedes need days off. Rather than DH JD, give some to Cespedes and play Rajai in LEFT field. JD is a good outfielder. Otherwise, DH Rajai. Collins has gotten more ABs than I had anticipated.
Even though Oakland’s total run dfferential is only -7, I expect to win two of three there. Then try to win one freakin’ game in Anaheim (sigh).

As long as V-Mart is out, I’m not too unhappy with the Davis-Collins duo @DH. Together, they give more pop than an injured V-Mart was able to provide and they can both run some, especially Davis. That means either player can score from second, can advance from first to third, can break up DPs and won’t otherwise clog things up. That said, they are not the answer nor can they approach a healthy V-Mart’s run production.

Plus, Davis is obviously a stolen base threat whereas V-Mart never had that as part of his skill set.

Perez-Machado-Collins in; Miggy out.
Must be Throw-Away Day for Brad.

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