Found September 25, 2013 on
Fox Sports Detroit:
Bruce Rondon started the season in the minor leagues but it appears he could play a major role for the Tigers in the postseason.
With their 4-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins Tuesday night, the Tigers clinched a playoff berth but the division-clinching celebration will have to wait.
Everyone knows the bullpen givens in closer Joaquin Benoit, set-up man Jose Veras, left-hander Drew Smyly and one of the starters --most likely Rick Porcello.
But Rondon, the man with the triple-digit fastball, has been a question mark ever since a tender elbow put him on the shelf since Sept. 2.
On that day, Rondon struck out Boston's David Ortiz on a 103-miler-per-hour fastball.
Rondon had not pitched since then. He followed the program set up by the training staff, threw a bullpen Sunday in which he aired it out and then was deemed fit to pitch again.
The Tigers had Rondon start the eighth inning Tuesday and all he did was strike out the side, Trevor Plouffe on a 101-mile-per-hour fastball, Josh Willingham on an 85-mile-per-hour slider and Josmil Pinto on a 96-mile-per-hour fastball.
Rondon needed just 10 pitches to complete the inning.
"How about Rondon, not pitching for 20 days and come in like he did was really unbelievable," Tigers manager Jim Leyland told FOX Sports Detroit's John Keating on the post-game show.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire just shook his head when asked about his hitter striking out against Rondon.
"He was throwing really hard," Gardenhire said on the post-game show. "He went to the breaking ball and it was just disappearing. The ball was really coming out of his hand. That's a power arm.
"We didn't look like we had too much of a chance to catch up to him and then he started throwing the breaking ball. If you're sitting on a 100-mile-an-hour fastball and he spins it, pretty tough to make an adjustment to it."
The fact that Rondon was able to throw his breaking ball effectively is a good sign because that is mostly what was bothering his elbow.
But Leyland cautioned that the Tigers aren't out of the woods quite yet.
"You gotta watch because he hasn't pitched for 20 days. You can't get greedy," Leyland said. "You've got to wait and see how he feels (Wednesday). Everybody's gonna get all excited now and I am, too, because of what he did, but you gotta be careful.
"This guy just came off a little elbow injury and I can't get greedy with him. I've gotta be careful with it. Certainly tonight was very impressive. The lineup set up pretty good for him."
Having a guy that can come out of the bullpen with that kind of firepower can be invaluable in the postseason.
"I'm excited about having him back," FOX Sports Detroit's Craig Monroe said on the post-game show. "Here's a guy that has a 100-mile-per-hour fastball that actually gets up to 102-103. Guys have to be ready for a fastball. He speeds them up all the time.
"Being in the batter's box with a guy that throws 100 miles per hour, that ball leaves his hands, it seems like it's in the catcher's glove by the time you see it.
"Then he's able to slow them down by expanding that strike zone with a really good off-speed pitches, which would be his slider. He elevated his fastball, he was up, he was down, that's how he's going to have to pitch. I think he can be instrumental for this bullpen if he's able to come out and do what he did (Tuesday night). He was dominant."
The news was not as good for left-hander Phil Coke as it was for Rondon.
Leyland told reporters in Minnesota that Coke was returning to Detroit to undergo an MRI on his left elbow Wednesday.
"He called the trainer (Tuesday) morning and said his elbow's bothering him," Leyland told MLive.com.
Coke first complained about his elbow after giving up three runs on three hits in two-thirds of an inning in an 8-0 loss last Wednesday.
Head athletic trainer Kevin Rand said Coke would not pick up a baseball for three days.
Coke threw Sunday and still didn't feel right. He then threw off the mound in a bullpen session Monday.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
The Detroit Tigers’ division-clinching victory felt like it was somewhat destined to happen Wednesday, with 20-game winner Max Scherzer on the mound. He’s a 21-game winner now, and the Tigers are the three-time defending AL Central champions after a 1-0 victory over the Twins.
Despite struggling with his control from the outset, Scherzer tossed seven shutout innings of two-hit...
The magic number remains two for the Detroit Tigers to clinch the Central Division.
The bullpen let a 3-0 lead and a victory for Justin Verlander get away on Monday night in a 4-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins. Josmil Pinto singled in the winning run off Luke Putkonen in the 11th inning, and Joaquin Benoit blew his first save opportunity in 23 attempts by serving up a ninth-inning...
Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland went through a complete range of emotions during the team's celebration of their third straight American League Central division title after Wednesday night's victory over the Minnesota Twins, highlighted by a little crying and a little moonwalk.
Video: Leyland shows emotions and dance moves
Leyland began crying during a postgame...
Aside from the Tiger rookie pitchers towing the Hello Kitty backpack to the bullpen prior to every game it’s become an annual tradition for all the rookies to get in on the humiliation but in the nature of good fun. This year the Bruce Rondon, Bryan Holaday, Hernan Perez, Nick Castellanos, Jose Alvarez, Jose Iglesias and Evan Reed dressed as some of the most disturbing (and funny...
MINNEAPOLIS -- Torii Hunter couldn't help but peek at the out-of-town scoreboard at Target Field, glancing toward the LED board in right-center field. When Cleveland trailed Chicago by a run in the bottom of the ninth, the Tigers outfielder felt his team had a chance to clinch the American League Central on Tuesday night with a win over Minnesota.
Not long after, the score in...
91 – 65, 2.
I liked it better when you got all of your baseballs stats from one place: the sports page. Or really, one to two pages of the sports section. Everything was laid out right in front of you, so you could jump from team to team, or stat to stat, without clicking anywhere or waiting for a page to load. Growing up, I regularly read the Fort Worth Star Telegram and then...
Detroit Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera returned to the lineup yesterday after missing Sunday's game due to his lingering groin injury. Tigers manager Jim Leyland told reporters -- including Jason Beck of MLB.com -- that he won't hesitate to rest Cabrera if he feels it's necessary, but he also said that he will play the All-Star if he's healthy.
They need his power in the bottom half of the lineup. They need his bat.
So the Tigers are bringing Jhonny Peralta back for the final three games of the season and probably for the postseason as well.
But they’re bringing him back as a left-fielder not as a shortstop.
Creating roster room for Peralta by transferring infielder Danny Worth to the 60-day disabled list Tigers president...
The Detroit Tigers' attempt to move a step closer to an AL Central title was undone in their series opener with the Minnesota Twins.
Doug Fister will try to help the Tigers wrap up that third straight division crown by delivering another solid outing against the Twins on Tuesday night.
Detroit (91-66) had a 3-2 lead heading into the ninth inning Monday at Target Field, but Brian...
The eighth of ten playoff teams has been decided, and it's a familiar face: the Detroit Tigers. Detroit won their third straight AL Central crown on Wednesday night after beating the Twins 1-0 as Max Scherzer let a first inning run stand up thanks to a solid pitching performance against Minnesota.
With a record of 93-66 with six games to play, the Tigers still have a solid...
Since this won’t be my last post this season, I won’t feel bad about a short one on a busy day.
You know that a win tonight, or a Cle loss, will clinch a third straight division title. That’s the first time since…ever. They did win three straight pennants from 1907-1909, but they have never won 3 straight division titles. Please keep that in mind as you shake up...
Max Scherzer earned his 21st win and the Detroit Tigers clinched
their third straight AL Central title, beating the Minnesota Twins
1-0 on Wednesday night.
Coming into this season, both Oakland Athletics RHP Grant Balfour and Detroit Tigers RHP Joaquin Benoit were considered important pieces to their teams respective bullpens. While the Tigers seemed indecisive in regards to who their closer was going to be, Benoit was not considered to be the favorite to pitch in the 9th inning to finish games. His best success had come as a set up...
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Josmil Pinto hit an RBI single in the 11th inning and the Minnesota Twins overcame 12 strikeouts by Justin Verlander to beat the Detroit Tigers 4-3 on Monday night.
The Tigers led 3-0 in the eighth, but Jose Veras gave up RBI doubles to Eduardo Escobar and pinch-hitter Ryan Doumit. Brian Dozier led off the ninth with a tying homer against previously perfect closer...
And the Tigers are 3-time Central Division Champs. How do you feel?
(video captured by Brady Green)