Rondon to Set-up?
Last spring, Bruce Rondon was unable to land the Tigers closer's role, setting the team up for a season of late-inning turmoil. The Tigers remedied that problem for this season by signing free agent closer Joe Nathan. Now, the Tigers are saying that the role of setting up for Nathan is Rondon's to lose, reports John Lowe of The Detroit Free Press.
The task being asked of Rondon this season is much more realistic. For a rookie to step in and be a closer for a playoff team was a tall task, even for a powerful arm like Rondon. Pitching in the eighth inning, with newly signed Joba Chamberlain as an insurance policy and a partial-year of major league experience under his belt, gives Rondon a better chance of succeeding.
Rondon's rough start to the season overshadowed what was actualy some productive pitching later in the year. Rondon finished with a 3.45 ERA and over a strikeout per inning in 28 2/3 innings.
Colon Now Blocked
The signing of Omar Infante by the Royals to play second base for the next four years effectively blocked Christian Colon's path to the majors, notes David Hill of Kings of Kauffman. Colon is by no means a top prospect or even one worth dictating free agent signings like Infante, but he was in the discussion for potential options at the keystone before the Infante signing.
Now, as Hill points, out, the options are limited for Colon, but not completely removed. The former shortstop can still play there, and I would expect him to also see some time at third base and perhaps the outfield in Triple-A in an attempt to increase his versatility. Colon's role with the Royals now appears to be that of a super-utility player who can do a number of different things, with the biggest question being whether manager Ned Yost can figure out how to use such a player.