Bruce Rondon To Undergo Tommy John Surgery

The Tigers will be without setup man Bruce Rondon for the 2014 season, as Tom Gage of the Detroit News reports (via Twitter) that the flamethrowing right-hander will undergo Tommy John surgery. It's a major blow to a bullpen that already contained plenty of question marks, but general manager Dave Dombrowski tells reporters that he'll look to fill the void with internal candidates (per the Detroit Free Press on Twitter).

The news increases Joba Chamberlain's importance to the Tigers and likely that of right-hander Al Alburquerque as well. This is the third major injury to a member of the Tigers' projected 25-man roster already this spring, as Andy Dirks will be sidelined up to three months after back surgery, and stress fractures in each of Jose Iglesias' shins will likely cause him to miss the entire 2014 season.

Rondon, 23, posted a 3.45 ERA with 9.4 K/9, 3.5 BB/9 and a 46.8 percent ground-ball rate in 28 2/3 innings out of Detroit's bullpen last year, and he had fired seven scoreless innings with seven strikeouts and no walks thus far in Spring Training. Rondon's innings can be replaced, but it will be virtually impossible to replace his velocity; his 99.3 mph average fastball was the highest among all big league pitchers with at least 20 innings pitched — even Aroldis Chapman (98.3 mph).

While Iglesias' injury led many to speculate on a Stephen Drew signing for the Tigers, the free agent market for relievers is more bleak. Ryan Madson and Joel Hanrahan represent a pair of potential impact arms, but each is coming off major surgery, and Madson hasn't pitched in the Majors since 2011. Dombrowski continues to repeat the "internal options" refrain, but at some point one has to wonder if the growing number of injuries will cause him to make a somewhat notable move to regain some of the lost production.


33 Responses to Bruce Rondon To Undergo Tommy John Surgery Leave a Reply

  1. Jake White 1 year ago

    As a Yankee fan, I feel for Tigers fans if you have to lean on Joba in the least. Good luck with that.

    • bobbleheadguru 1 year ago

      Joba already has good stuff. Change-of-scenery-roulette.

    • Jay Sanders 1 year ago

      Thanks for the sympathy but we’ll still be playing October baseball while you guys are sitting at home

      • MB923 1 year ago

        Let’s wait and see, shall we? Anything can happen. Including your bullpen blowing leads left and right much like last year.

      • kungfucampby 1 year ago

        Yes and Detroit will collapse after the sixth inning.

  2. Vivid_Reality 1 year ago

    The rumors will now read “Tigers interested in Schierholtz, Barney, and James Russell.”

    • bobbleheadguru 1 year ago

      Tigers not interested in any of those guys. That is Cubs fans hope, not reality.

      • Bill Smith 1 year ago

        The consistent scouting of the first 2 names he mentioned would indicate otherwise. Just because those names don’t elicit thoughts of championships in our minds, doesn’t mean DD won’t go get them to try to at least plug some holes. I hope he does something, but I suspect LF will be Davis and Carrera/Crowe, set up man will be Joba/Al-Al, SS will be Worth/Perez and DD may take a flier on the corpse of Joel Hanrahan. Not looking good at all.

  3. Rcsully 1 year ago

    Such a little ligament to cause this much pain to so many staffs…

  4. MB923 1 year ago

    Wonder if they sign Ryan Madson

  5. UK Tiger 1 year ago

    Damn, thats the last thing we needed, i expected a big breakout year from Rondon too.

    Looking at the Spring stats (they mean little i know) and coupling it with a little bit of proven big league stuff, i’d go with Putkonen in the pen to replace him, not directly as a setup man obviously but as a middle reliever, moving either Joba or Al Al to setup for Nathan.

    Enough with the injuries now!

    • Alex 1 year ago

      It’s horrible news but I have no doubt in my mind that Dombrowski will swing something. Losing Iglesias or Rondon on their own would be relatively minor setbacks, but losing both is terrible.

  6. ChrisSEA84 1 year ago

    I wonder if people are jumping on the train to surgery to soon now. It just seems ridiculous the amount of tommy johns there’s been this Spring.

  7. bobbleheadguru 1 year ago

    SS will be handled Internally.

    Tigers will need to get an 8th inning guy via trade though.

  8. Ron Loreski 1 year ago

    Every pitcher should just have Tommy John when they sign their first professional contract. Just get it over with. And if it happens again, its just in the cards.

  9. And It's Gone... 1 year ago

    What is with all of this Tommy John surgery?

    • Runtime 1 year ago

      It’s the same deal every year.

      • And It's Gone... 1 year ago

        I don’t remember five pitchers needing it last year.

    • $3513744 1 year ago

      Strong Brad surgery isn’t available yet since it’s not covered by insurance. so they just have to settle for the second best option.

      • And It's Gone... 1 year ago

        What? Tommy John surgery is one of the best options out there. It is just happening too much.

        • $3513744 1 year ago

          if it’s one of the best options, what’s the issue with using it?

    • kungfucampby 1 year ago

      No more steroids for pitchers to take.

  10. ChrisSEA84 1 year ago

    From now on, pitchers should replace all their arm ligaments with steel cables.

    • Ron Loreski 1 year ago

      Or many pitchers workloads should be reduced to inserting the ball into pitching machines.

  11. Mike1L 1 year ago

    Rumor has it that Boras will suggest that Drew can both play shortstop and close. For the right contract, of course. Jon Heyman supports the idea.

  12. Jerry Mandering 1 year ago

    I figured the Tigers would have a lot of injuries this year, but I thought it would be the old guys and the overused pitchers. The young guys going down has been a surprise to say the least, you’d have to think Dombrowski makes a move soon. Still an excellent team, but it’s the contributions from the unsung heroes that help win championships.

  13. James F 1 year ago

    I swear some of these pitchers don’t weigh their options.

  14. kungfucampby 1 year ago

    Tigers need both Madson and Hanrahan. There’s no way Al Al stays healthy and guys like Joba Chamberlain, Phil Coke, and Ian Krol don’t inspire confidence.

  15. davengmusic 1 year ago

    Matt Anderson all over again…

  16. forkball27 1 year ago

    I think that the Tigers will sign Luis Ayala who was recently released by the nationals. I also think they will probably sign or at least meet with one of the a fore mentioned relief pitchers in the post. They need to lock down that bullpen even if they have to take a risk.

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