The Detroit Tigers’ official website is showing that the team has placed Octavio Dotel on the 15-day disabled list with right elbow inflammation. Bruce Rondon has been recalled from the minor leagues to take his place.
Rondon entered spring training as one of the top favorites to claim the Tigers’ closer job, but he struggled with his command and was ultimately sent down to the minor leagues. He apparently took the assignment well though (either that or he was really angry), because he’s been untouchable in seven appearances for the Toledo Mud Hens. In 7.2 innings, he’s struck out nine batters, walked only two, allowed five hits (all singles), and has maintained a spotless 0.00 ERA.
The team is likely not brining Rondon up to be the closer, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in the late inning mix. He could very well claim the role in time if he succeeds in his early appearances.
Dotel had been struggling to start the year. His average fastball velocity has sat below 90 mph (down about 3 mph from last year). He allowed five runs in his last relief outing against the Angels and simply didn’t look right.