May 1, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Bruce Rondon (43) pitches in the seventh inning against the Minnesota Twins at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Tigers Recall Bruce Rondon From AAA Toledo

According to multiple reports — see the below Tweet by Matthew Mowery of the Oakland Press – the Detroit Tigers have announced the recall of reliever Bruce Rondon from AAA Toledo.

The Tigers have not yet announced a corresponding move. According to Tom Gage (et al.), they’ll announce a move closer to game time. My guess is that Evan Reed or Darin Downs is geting sent down, but it’s also probably possible that Phil Coke gets optioned to straighten things out (as Patrick O’Kennedy suggested on Bless You Boys).

Perhaps also Anibal Sanchez is ready to come off the DL to make his next start, but the indication the other day after he tossed a three-inning simulated game was that he would be going out on a rehab assignment next week.

Rondon had struggled in two previous stints in Detroit – a whole 2.1 innings worth of work – but he’s been getting the results in AAA. In his 30 appearances this year with the Toledo Mud Hens (29.2 innings), Rondon has struck out 40 batters, walked 13, saved 14 games, and accumulated an ERA of just 1.52.

Rondon probably isn’t coming up to assume any sort of closer’s role – though it could turn into that if he’s successful – but adding an arm like his to the mix could go a long way towards solidifying the seventh and eighth innings. The Tigers have a good-enough if not better-than-they-could-acquire closer in Joaquin Benoit, but that leaves no one else besides Drew Smyly that Jim Leyland can trust in the seventh and eighth innings of close games.

We were all mad when Leyland brought in Phil Coke to pitch to righties in the tenth inning on Thursday, but his other options were Darin Downs, Evan Reed, and Luke Putkonen. And, yeah, while I would have rather seen Putkonen out there, you can understand that Jim didn’t have (m)any good options.

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  • John Parent

    I’m starting to wonder (and I’ve admittedly done no research on this) if there is any way Leyland would use Coke as a strict LOOGy. I’m assuming he would not, as off the top of my head, I don’t recall Leyland doing that with any left handed reliever he’s had. He used Bobby Seay for full innings as well. I think that if the Tigers had Javier Lopez, Leyland would run him out there to face two righties to start an inning as well.

    So the solution is that you either have to replace Leyland, or remove Coke from the equation and replace him with a LHP that routinely gets RHBs out as well as lefties. Otherwise, we will continue to keep doing the same things and expect different results. frustrating. there is so much on this team to like and sometimes the stubbornness of the manager gets in the way.

    • Matt Snyder

      Jamie Walker in 2006 routinely faced only a batter or two. Byrdak in 2007 as well, I believe, but yeah. It seems it’s been a while since he’s employed strict LOOGYness.

    • chrisHannum

      Good point, John. Maybe the Tigers do need a roster shakeup to get another lefty in there with a decent change to get righties out. Coke and Downs are both basically fastball/slider guys with bad changeups. I’d figure that Jose Alvarez could do that, once Sanchez comes off the DL. Hoffman seems to do OK against righties with his curve too.

  • chrisHannum

    Now that we know that it was Evan Reed – I have to ask: Why not Phil Coke?

    • Matt Snyder

      Leyland seems to think it’s his responsibility to “get Coke going”. Not sure how a team/manager wills a player to perform, but they’re trying.