Detroit Tigers: Potential X-Factors for the 2017 Season

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Mar 16, 2017; Lake Buena Vista, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers third base coach Dave Clark (25) high fives center fielder JaCoby Jones (40) as he rounds third base after hitting a home run in the second inning at Champion Stadium. The Tigers won 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 16, 2017; Lake Buena Vista, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers third base coach Dave Clark (25) high fives center fielder JaCoby Jones (40) as he rounds third base after hitting a home run in the second inning at Champion Stadium. The Tigers won 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /
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Detroit Tigers
Feb 28, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; A multiple exposure photo of Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Bruce Rondon (43) pitching in the seventh inning of a baseball game against the New York Yankees during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports /

Bruce Rondon
Position: Relief Pitcher
Age: 26
Throws: Right-Handed

After he made his 2016 debut, Bruce Rondon became one of the Detroit Tigers most effective relievers.

The hard-throwing right-hander became one of Brad Ausmus’ top setup men down the stretch.

All told, the reliever pitched to a 2.97 ERA in 36.1 innings of work.

With the likes of Justin Wilson, Shane Greene, Mark Lowe and Alex Wilson all struggling at various points, Rondon’s solid outings were certainly timely for the Tigers.

The 26-year-old wasn’t just effective in keeping runs off the board—his 2.95 SIERA was certainly something to write home about—Rondon was also Detroit’s best relief pitcher in terms of missing bats.

In his time with the Tigers in 2016, the flamethrower paced the Tigers with a swinging strike percentage of 15.8. The next closest to Rondon was Shane Greene with a 12.7 number.

Rondon also struck out 11.15 batters per nine innings, once again leading Detroit’s bullpen.

Considering the Tigers employ plenty of bullpen arms who don’t exactly rack up the punch outs, Rondon is even more valuable for Detroit.

A full season of the reliever serving as one of Francisco Rodriguez’ top setup men could do wonders for the Tigers playoff chances.

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