The Tigers bullpen continues to be a mess, so it looks like they’re going back to Plan A: using Bruce Rondon. At least if the International League transaction wire is to be believed, because it notes that he was recalled today.
Rondon has pitched seven and two-thirds innings for Toledo so far this year and hasn’t given up any runs while allowing five hits. He has struck out nine and walked two. Maybe that means the Tigers have new confidence in him. Maybe it’s just that Detroit has played multiple extra innings games lately and Jim Leyland needs another option besides using Phil Coke for three innings like he did on Sunday.
Either way, it’s Rondon time.
The Tigers are expected to hire Ron Gardenhire as the team’s new manager upon completion of a contract, per Ken Rosenthal and Katie Strang of The Athletic. Gardenhire, 59, spent the 2017 season serving as the bench coach for the Diamondbacks.
Gardenhire managed the Twins for 13 seasons between 2002-14, amassing a 1,068-1,039 (.507) record in the regular season and reaching the playoffs six times.
According to Strang and Rosenthal, Gardenhire was one of 10 candidates to interview with the Tigers. Others included Alex Cora, Mike Redmond, Fredi Gonzalez, Joe McEwing, Hensley Meulens, Dave Clark, and Omar Vizquel. Apparently, GM Al Avila wanted a manager with previous major league managing experience.
The Tigers parted ways with previous manager Brad Ausmus at the end of the 2017 regular season, his fourth year at the helm.