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A sometimes-irreverent look at Detroit's Boys of Summer, the Tigers, as they try to return to the top of the American League Central.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Tigers have backed off Rondon because of a tender elbow

DETROIT — The last time Bruce Rondon took the mound, against the Boston Red Sox in Fenway Park, may have been one of the more impressive outings of his rookie campaign.

After giving up a two-out double to Dustin Pedroia in the eighth, Rondon uncorked a wild pitch while facing David Ortiz, putting the potential shutout busting run 90 feet away from the plate.

Rondon would end up throwing five pitches of 100 mph or more in the seven-pitch battle against Ortiz, one of them at a blistering 103 mph, according to the Fenway radar gun.

And he hasn’t pitched since that day, Sept. 2. The last eight days, he’s been dealing with soreness in his throwing arm.

“He’s been battling a little bit of a tender elbow. So we backed him off. He’s OK. No red flags. But we’ve backed him off,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. “I think it was that 103 mph pitch he threw to Ortiz, but I don’t really know that.”

Leyland said he expected Rondon to test things out with a Tuesday throwing session.

He’s not the only reliever to be limited recently.

Jeremy Bonderman has been dealing with tendinitis in his thumb, and hasn’t thrown since Sept. 4.

“He’s supposed to throw today, so I’ll know more when I get out there,” Leyland said before the game. “That’s why we’ve been fighting tooth and nail down there, because we’ve been a little strapped.”

With a couple of guys ailing, the Tigers recalled the contract lefty Darin Downs on Sept. 10, giving them a safety net. They haven’t had to use him, though, meaning he hasn’t pitched in a game since Sept. 1, when the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens were still playing.

Evan Reed hasn’t pitched since finishing off the blowout, 20-4 loss in Boston on Sept. 4.

“It’s kind of a weird thing. We’ve got Bondo and Reed sat down there for 11 days,” Leyland said. “This is a good thing. It’s one of those situations where they’ve just got to be ready to pitch if they’re called upon. They’re throwing on a consistent basis.”


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