Detroit Tigers Heroes and Zeroes Week 12: J.D. Martinez rises

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Jun 26, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Bruce Rondon (43) pitches during the eighth inning against the Chicago White Sox at Comerica Park. Tigers beat the White Sox 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

#3 Hero: Bruce Rondon

We welcomed Bruce Rondon back into the fold last week, not really knowing what to expect considering his injuries, poor time in Toledo and the fact he had not thrown a major league pitch since 2013.

Rondon was perhaps a surprise promotion late last week because the 24-year old had sported a 7.11 ERA and 1.737 WHIP in 13 games with Toledo, serving first as a rehab stint and secondly as an assignment when it was clear he was not ready to join the big league club.

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But after a couple scoreless outings, the Detroit Tigers jumped at the chance to bring Rondon up.

It is a very small sample size, but Rondon has been effective. This is good news because when he came up for his two stints with the Tigers in 2013, he struggled out of the gate. On the second tour he righted the ship and became a very reliable option, settling into the eighth inning option for then manager Jim Leyland.

He pitched the eighth inning a couple of times this week and was perfect, even striking out the side on Thursday.

Even when the Tigers were rolling early on this season, they lacked an eighth inning setup man. Angel Nesbitt seemed to be trending in that direction but he eventually faltered in middle innings before the team trusted him in that role.

With Alex Wilson filling middle innings, Rondon in the eighth and a (hopefully) rejuvenated and more frequently used Joakim Soria closing games, the back-end of the Tigers’ pen could become very reliable.

Next: Blue Light Special on RBIs at V-Mart