Bruce Rondón (born December 9, 1990) is a Venezuelan professional baseball pitcher who is currently a free agent. He made his MLB debut in 2013 with the Detroit Tigers. Rondón has a fastball that can reach or even exceed 100 miles per hour (160 km/h).
Rondón pitching for the Detroit Tigers
|Born: December 9, 1990|
|April 25, 2013, for the Detroit Tigers|
|MLB statistics |
(through July 10, 2018)
|Earned run average||5.73|
Early minor league career (2007–2012)Edit
Rondón signed with the Detroit Tigers organization as an international free agent on September 12, 2007. He first played with the organization in 2008 as a member of the Venezuelan Summer League Tigers (VSL). He started 13 games, compiling a 2–6 win–loss record and a 3.58 earned run average (ERA). In 2009, Rondón appeared in six games, starting the year with the Gulf Coast League Tigers (GCL). He made three starts, registering an 0–1 record and a 4.76 ERA. On July 10, he rejoined the VSL Tigers and made three relief appearances, posting an ERA of 13.50.
Rondón split the 2010 season between the GCL Tigers and the Lakeland Flying Tigers of the Class A-Advanced Florida State League (FSL), appearing in a combined total of 28 games, all of them as a reliever. He made 24 appearances in the GCL, leading the league with 15 saves. Rondón ended the season in the GCL with 20 consecutive scoreless outings and during that stretch, which covered 212⁄3 innings, he struck out 23 opponents. GCL hitters had a .133 batting average against Rondón, the best mark for all GCL relief pitchers in 2010. He was named a GCL all–star in 2010. Rondón finished the minor league season with four appearances for Lakeland, after he joined the Flying Tigers on August 24. Rondón spent all of 2011 with the West Michigan Whitecaps of the Class A Midwest League, appearing in 41 games before trouble with his right shoulder ended his season in August. He gathered 19 saves and posted a 2.03 ERA with the Whitecaps, and was named to appear in the 2011 Midwest League All-Star game Late in the year, Baseball America ranked Rondón as Detroit's 12th-highest prospect. The previous year, he had been rated 13th.
Rondón started the 2012 season on Lakeland's roster, but he was promoted to the Erie SeaWolves of the Class AA Eastern League on June 20 and then to the Toledo Mud Hens of the Class AAA International League on August 7. Between the three teams, Rondón saved 29 games and posted an ERA of 1.53 while striking out 66 opponents. His save total was the third-highest for a minor leaguer. He was named to appear in the 2012 All-Star Futures Game. He retired two hitters on four fastballs, with one fastball registering 102 miles per hour (164 km/h) on the Kaufman Stadium radar gun.
Rondón was recognized as Detroit's Minor League Pitcher of the Year and in June, he was the organization's Minor League Pitcher of the Month. Baseball America picked Rondón as the top reliever in both the Eastern League and the FSL.
Detroit Tigers (2013–2017)Edit
Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski referred to Rondón as a "rare talent" after the 2012 season, and indicated that he could become the Tigers closer in 2013. Rondón struggled early in spring training, but began to improve with mechanical changes. The Tigers optioned Rondón to Toledo for the start of the 2013 season. They promoted him to the major leagues on April 23, but did not use him as their closer. He made his Major League debut on April 25, 2013 against the Kansas City Royals. He entered the game in relief in the eighth inning. His first batter faced was Billy Butler, who singled to right field. His pitching line for this first inning was two hits, one run scored.
Bruce returned to Toledo in early May, where he posted 14 saves and a 1.52 ERA, with 40 strikeouts and 13 walks in 292⁄3 innings. The Tigers recalled him to the major league club on June 28, 2013. He earned his first major league save on August 30, 2013 against the Cleveland Indians. He posted a 3.45 ERA in his first major league season, striking out 30 batters in 282⁄3 innings.
Expected to be one of the Tigers' primary setup men for 2014, Rondón underwent Tommy John surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right elbow during spring training. After the procedure, Rondón missed the entire 2014 season. He returned to pitch for the Tigers midway through the 2015 season. On September 22, 2015, Rondón was sent home by the Tigers due to their displeasure with his effort level. In 35 appearances this season, he posted a 1–0 record, with five saves in nine opportunities, a 5.81 ERA, a 1.61 WHIP, and 36 strikeouts. In 31 innings, he allowed 31 hits and 19 walks, while issuing a team-high 5.5 walks per nine innings.
Preparing for the 2016 season, Rondón lost 15 pounds (6.8 kg) and made mechanical changes to his delivery. The Tigers optioned Rondón to the Mud Hens on March 28, 2016. Rondón was recalled to the Tigers on June 19, 2016, and he pitched two scoreless innings of relief against the Kansas City Royals. Rondón made 37 relief appearances in the 2016 season, compiling a 5–2 record with a 2.97 ERA and 45 strikeouts in 36 1⁄3 innings.
On January 13, 2017, the Tigers avoided arbitration with Rondón, agreeing on a one-year, $850,000 contract. He appeared in the 2017 World Baseball Classic for the Venezuelan national baseball team. During the 2017 season, Rondón pitched 15 2⁄3, allowing 19 runs on 21 hits, before he was demoted to Toledo. The Tigers did not include Rondón in their September call-ups. He was non-tendered and became a free agent on December 1, 2017. His major league career with the Tigers ended with a 5.00 ERA and seven saves in 123 relief appearances.
Chicago White SoxEdit
On February 1, 2018, Rondón signed a minor league contract with the Chicago White Sox. He had his contract purchased on April 8, 2018. He entered the game that same day against the Tigers striking out all four batters he faced. He was designated for assignment on July 12 after posting an ERA of 8.49 in 29 2⁄3 innings. He elected free agency on July 17, 2018.
Rondón relies heavily on a hard four-seam fastball in the 97 to 100 miles per hour (156 to 161 km/h) range, which he frequently throws at or above 100 miles per hour (160 km/h). His other pitches include a slider in the 86 to 89 miles per hour (138 to 143 km/h) range, a changeup in the 89 to 91 miles per hour (143 to 146 km/h) range, and an occasional sinker in the upper 90s, which he is still developing.
- 2013 Detroit Tigers Information Guide (PDF). 2013. pp. 189–191.
- Cory Morse. "Whitecaps closer Bruce Rondon lands on MWL all-star team, still looks to improve". MLive.com. Retrieved November 26, 2012.
- Mayo, Jonathan (June 19, 2012). "Prospects pack rosters for 2012 All-Star Futures Game | MLB.com: News". Mlb.mlb.com. Retrieved November 26, 2012.
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- Already in 1st, Pirates waiting for top prospects Associated Press, July 8, 2013. Retrieved August 7, 2013.
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- Schmehl, James (March 18, 2013). "Bruce Rondon slowly building case for Detroit Tigers' closer role after another strong outing". MLive.com. Retrieved March 20, 2013.
- "Tigers option Bruce Rondon; no set closer to open '13 | MLB.com: News". Mlb.mlb.com. March 28, 2013. Retrieved April 1, 2013.
- "Detroit Tigers recall Bruce Rondon, place Octavio Dotel on DL – ESPN". Espn.go.com. April 23, 2013. Retrieved June 28, 2013.
- Sipple, George (April 23, 2013). "Detroit Tigers | Detroit Free Press". freep.com. Retrieved June 28, 2013.
- The Tigers have called up Bruce Rondon Calcaterra, Craig at hardballtalk.nbcsports.com on June 28, 2013
- Cabrera exits early, Tigers top Indians on rainy night cbssports.com wire reports on August 30, 2013.
- Axisa, Mike (March 21, 2013). "Tigers lose setup man Bruce Rondon to Tommy John surgery". cbssports.com. Retrieved March 21, 2013.
- Zúñiga, Alejandro (September 22, 2015). "Rondon sent home due to subpar 'effort level'". MLB.com. Retrieved September 22, 2015.
- "Tigers call up slimmer Bruce Rondon, who dazzles in return". Freep.com. June 19, 2016. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
- Beck, Jason (March 28, 2016). "Tigers release Parnell, option Rondon to Minors". MLB.com. Retrieved March 28, 2016.
- "Cuthbert's RBI single in 13th lifts Royals past Tigers, 2–1". CBSsports.com. June 19, 2016. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
- 9:11 p.m. ET October 23, 2016 (October 23, 2016). "If K-Rod leaves, look for Bruce Rondon to fill Tigers' closer role". Freep.com. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
- Beck, Jason (January 13, 2017). "Tigers maintain streak, agree to deals with six". MLB.com. Retrieved January 13, 2017.
- "Tigers non-tender Bruce Rondon, cutting ties after 10 years in organization". MLive.com. December 1, 2017. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
- Flanagan, Jeffrey (January 20, 2016). "Tigers non-tender reliever Bruce Rondon | Detroit Tigers". Mlb.com. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
- Karraker, Patrick (February 1, 2018). "White Sox sign Bruce Rondon to minor-league deal". MLBDailyDish.com. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
- The Book on Bruce Rondon Archived July 28, 2013, at the Wayback Machine scoutingbook.com, retrieved August 8, 2013.
- Pentis, Andrew (March 13, 2013). "Prospect Q&A: Inside Rondon's head | MiLB.com News | The Official Site of Minor League Baseball". Milb.com. Retrieved April 1, 2013.