It has been a rough season and it was a tough doubleheader on Monday for the Detroit Tigers. Tuesday afternoon was no better.
Tigers manager Brad Ausmus sent closer Bruce Rondon home before Tuesday night’s game. Ausmus didn’t share many details, but he did say Rondon was sent home due to a lack of effort. The Tigers skipper also said general manager Al Avila agreed with the decision.
Rondon pitched the second game of the doubleheader on Monday and his velocity was noticeably down. The closer can usually touch 100 MPH but only one of his pitches Monday reached above 94 MPH.
Ausmus might not have wanted to discuss Rondon in great depth Tuesday, Tigers catcher Alex Avila wasn’t bashful. His comments revealed a bit about what Rondon could have done to be sent home.
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Finally, Lynn Henning of The Detroit News shared his thoughts on Tuesday about the possibility of moving the fences in at Comerica Park.
"“Bruce Rondon, because of his effort level, has been sent home,” Ausmus told reporters at the start of his pregame media session before tonight’s game against the White Sox. “And, other than saying that (general manager) Al Avila and myself completely agreed on it, there will be no other details and comment.”In a text message, Avila reciprocated those thoughts, saying: “We both agreed in the long run that this course of action is best for Bruce and the club.”Ausmus would not elaborate on whether it was a baseball-related decision. Rondon is not suspended, the Tigers said, and will continue to get paid throughout his absence.When reached by the Free Press this afternoon, Rondon’s agent, Wilfredo Polidor, said he did not know why the right-handed reliever was sent home."
"But not everyone in the Tigers’ clubhouse kept quiet about the situation Tuesday.“To be a big component of the team, you have to be there, on the team,” Tigers catcher Alex Avila said. “I’ll say that. So there’s nothing really else for me to say.”Avila’s comments came shortly after the team announced that Rondon had been banished for the remainder of the season due to a lack of effort.It remains unclear why the 24-year-old reliever was dismissed, and Ausmus declined to comment when asked if the reasoning was baseball-related."
"In the seventh inning against Jeff Samardzija, J.D. Martinez hit another of his classic 420-foot-plus blasts to deep right-center, a foot or two in front of the recessed auxiliary scoreboard. Martinez’s drive was caught. That’s nothing new for Martinez, a skilled hitter who has lost at least five home runs, and perhaps closer to 10, because of Comerica’s absurd distances: 427 to the flag pole in left-center, 420 to deep center, and 430 to the most distant region of right-center.Another Tigers outfielder, Tyler Collins, had almost an identical experience in the second inning. His drive was snagged a couple of steps in front of the scoreboard, perhaps 420 feet away.Samardzija pitched a lovely baseball game. But the one-hit shutout was deceiving. Martinez and Collins’ blasts would have been home runs at the White Sox’s ballfield, or at just about any other big league park."