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Our own Tom Zahari used his guest article with the Detroit Free Press to look at the stormy short history between the Tigers and their oft-injured and unreliable on-again, off-again closer.
What I find fascinating about this whole situation is that it was dealt with in the final two weeks of the season. Had Al Avila and/or Brad Ausmus dealt with Rondon’s attitude, or other bad attitudes that have been rampant on this team this year, earlier, perhaps things would have been different.
By and large the players support the team’s decision, which is a good thing. Without any allies maybe Rondon will grow up. The Tigers could use the Rondon that they had envisioned several years ago in 2016 and beyond.
With his departure that could mean more work for the other two pitchers who have been used in closing situations along with Rondon since the trading of Joakim Soria at the trading deadline, right? Not so fast. The Tigers aren’t going to automatically hand the ball to their two best relievers in the final nine games of the season to not ruin those arms for the future.
Finally, the Tigers’ offseason free agent search begins with pitching, particularly improving that battered starting core from this year. One name that is not often mention is that of Yovani Gallardo. So allow Brad Faber to mention it and give you some compelling reasons why the Tigers should once again look to the Texas Rangers for pitching help.
Tigers’ Rondon has history of being hardheaded – Tom Zahari, MCB special to Detroit Free Press
"Rondon’s attitude is not a recent development. In 2009, he was sent from the Lakeland Tigers back to the Venezuelan Summer League, a rare occurrence. After he was demoted, Rondon posted a 13.50 ERA and 3.00 WHIP in three games in the VSL.Toledo Mud Hens manager Larry Parrish made comments about Rondon’s attitude and effort during spring training, and three different Tigers coaches also have complained about Rondon, according to the Detroit News.It seemed as if the Tigers were going to give Rondon another chance, as manager Brad Ausmus said Rondon had the most to prove in the final games of the season. After Monday’s game, Ausmus seemed annoyed when asked about Rondon, saying, “He got three outs.”"
Tigers will be judicious with Wilson, Hardy rest of way – George Sipple, Freep
"Ausmus said he doesn’t want to put Wilson in a situation where he’s tired and ends up having a couple of rough outings and “it ruins a good year.”“I want to give him rest and pick my spots with him,” Ausmus said.Wilson has a 2.22 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP in 58 games this season, with 38 strikeouts in 69 innings. After giving up four runs over 6 2/3 innings in August, Wilson has allowed two runs over seven innings this month.Ausmus is also trying to be smart with how he uses the left-handed Hardy, who has a 3.00 ERA and 1.32 WHIP in 68 games this season, with 54 strikeouts in 60 innings.Hardy pitched a total of 86 innings last season between Triple-A Toledo and Detroit. He had a 2.54 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP in 38 games for the Tigers last season."
Detroit Tigers’ Search For Starting Pitching This Offseason Should Include Yovani Gallardo – Brad Faber, Rant Sports
"One pending free agent starter who has flown under the radar to a certain extent, however, is Yovani Gallardo. Acquired in an offseason deal with the Milwaukee Brewers, Gallardo is currently putting the finishing touches on a very nice year for the Texas Rangers.Through 31 starts this season, Gallardo has gone 12-11 with a 3.41 ERA. Sure, his FIP is higher than his ERA at 4.04, and his WHIP is a bit inflated at 1.38, but he has still been a big part of the Rangers’ surprise season.Between 2009-12, Gallardo posted a 9.38 K/9, but he is no longer the same type of strikeout artist. As a matter of fact, his current 5.78 K/9 this season ranks 75th among 78 qualified starting pitchers in MLB this year. Nevertheless, he would still be worth a look for the Tigers.Gallardo’s 49.7 percent ground ball rate currently ranks ninth in the American League. As a contact pitcher, he has surely been helped by a Rangers defense that has posted a 4.7 UZR/150 this season, but the Tigers have a few players who are known to flash some leather as well. Plus, Comerica Park is known for being a rather pitcher-friendly yard."