Detroit Tigers closer Bruce Rondon has been sent home. Not released, but sent home as a result of his "effort level," as head coach Brad Ausmus told reporters.
On Monday night, Rondon's velocity was down. Only one was higher than 94 miles per hour. That single pitch was a 96 mile per hour groundout to first base.
Ausmus said after Monday's game, “He got three outs.”
Tuesday afternoon, his response regarding Rondon was much different.
“Bruce Rondon, because of his effort level, has been sent home,” Ausmus told reporters. “And, other than saying that (general manager) Al Avila and myself completely agreed on it, there will be no other details and comment."
General manager Al Avila agreed on the situation and fully endorsed the action set in place by Ausmus. The decision could have been made because Rondon has blown three saves in the last four chances.
"Brad and I met and we agreed that the course of action was best for Bruce and the club," Avila told ESPN on Tuesday.
Rondon has been the Tigers closer since the teams August trade that sent Joakim Soria to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Neftali Feliz and Alex Wilson will get placed in the closer role the rest of the way. Feliz has previous work as a closer with the Texas Rangers, which should give him the upper hand.
The right-handed pitcher has a rough 5.81 ERA on the season with five saves. Rondon has appeared in 35 games, while tossing 31.0 innings of work. In 2013, Rondon had a 3.45 ERA with one save over 28.2 innings pitched. He missed 2014 due to Tommy John surgery.
The good news is that Rondon has received a reality check and will get an early start to the offseason. He will now get extra time to work on his mechanics and velocity. The 24-year-old will continue to improve with his ability to become a lock-down closer.
Eduardo Perez, an MLB analyst for ESPN said that Rondon is an "embarrassment to the game of baseball."