Detroit Tigers reliever Bruce Rondon was far from effective Wednesday during his team's 4-1 spring training loss to the Philadelphia Phillies.
Rondon, who joined the Tigers with an aura of excitement surrounding him, gave up two earned runs, a pair of hits and threw just 13 strikes on 25 pitches in two-thirds of an inning after stepping in for starter Justin Verlander, the reigning American League Cy Young winner.
The Oakland Press' Matthew Mowery reports that Detroit opted to send Rondon to its Triple-A affiliate, the Toledo Mud Hens, after Wednesday's loss:
Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski said the following about Rondon (via Mowery's Out of Left Field Blog on the OP web site):
"We like him a lot; he's thrown the ball very well at times this spring. All the times out, you can see his arm strength. But we just thought he would benefit a little more from some more development time; very similar to guys like (Avisail) Garcia or (Nick) Castellanos -- premium prospects that we just think would benefit from more time at Triple-A."
Tigers fans can expect a "closer-by-committee" approach this season, according to Mowery. Detroit has arms like Drew Smyly, Phil Coke, Al Alburquerque, Brayan Villareal and Darin Downs to take on late-inning duties.
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