Cubs closer Hector Rondon has emerged from the brink of retirement to hold down a critical role on a high-performing club, as Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports writes. His relatively meager saves totals belie his effectiveness and importance to a team that has had more than its share of blowout wins this year. After nearly giving up baseball with the Indians, Rondon was plucked in the Rule 5 draft after some savvy assessment by coach Franklin Font. It’s an interesting read on an interesting player.
Elsewhere in the NL Central …
- The Cubs are doing their homework on possible trade targets, with a particular focus on pitching depth, Bruce Levine of 670thescore.com reports. According to the report, a quality left-handed reliever could be at or near the top of the list, though general manager Jed Hoyer says that the club remains confident in Travis Wood and Clayton Richard. The GM also cautions that it’s too early to expect any movement. “It’s still really early,” he said. “We are doing our due diligence. We are working hard and scouting the players that may become available. It is still exceptionally early in the trade season for anything.”
- Pirates righty Ryan Vogelsong had surgery to address multiple facial fractures suffered when he was hit by a pitch in his last start, as Stephen Nesbitt of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. According to the club, his rehab timeline will be addressed once the swelling goes down, with more information expected to be forthcoming next week.
- The Reds are gearing up for what could prove to be an interesting draft, as MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports. Cincinnati sports the highest overall draft bonus pool in the league, and scouting director Chris Buckley says that could open some opportunities to “get more creative throughout the entire draft — not just early in the draft but later in the draft.” Signability remains a key consideration, he noted. President of baseball operations Walt Jocketty also cited the benefits of the large pool, saying the team aims to “improve the depth and inventory” of the farm.