Sep 24, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Bruce Rondon (43) delivers a pitch in the eighth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. The Tigers won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Well, this wasn’t needed.
In all honesty I’m not 100% surprised. Not even really 50% surprised. After the way his season ended last year — namely out of action due to elbow discomfort — it isn’t shocking that the situation came back, and everything we know about pitchers and elbows tells us that they break.
But this is still a huge blow to a Tigers team that has been diminished by injuries in the recent weeks. First Andy Dirks had back surgery which will cause him to miss (at least) the first couple months of the season, and then Jose Iglesias was diagnosed with stress fractures in both legs and should be considered pretty much out for the year, and now Bruce Rondon will have Tommy John Surgery and certainly be out for the year.
Not great news for a club that was already going to be putting together a patchwork bullpen. I mean, maybe it’s good news for Evan Reed (he’s now probably a ‘favorite’ to win a roster spot), but it’s not good for things like ‘winning games’ or ‘our collective late-inning sanity’.
I’d like to think the Tigers will find a way to address the bullpen situation now, but I’m not really sure what the options are at this point. Luke Putkonen is getting dangerously close to becoming the seventh-inning setup man by default.
All we can do now is hope that the surgery and recovery process are successful and that Rondon will be back in action for the 2015 season, or at least most of it.