Tigers right-hander Bruce Rondon made just one regular-season appearance after September 2 due to tenderness in his throwing elbow and has not pitched yet in the 2013 postseason. But the hard-throwing 22-year-old Venezuelan is still working to get back.
MLB.com’s Jason Beck reports that Rondon began a throwing program this weekend at the Tigers’ spring training complex in Florida and has experienced no issues so far with his right elbow. He’s only doing light games of catch and still has quite a few hurdles to jump, but the fact that the Tigers are keeping his rehab program going suggests that they believe he could be available if the team is able to advance to the World Series.
Rondon posted a 3.45 ERA and 30 strikeouts across 28 2/3 innings of relief this season for the American League Central-champion Tigers while averaging 97.9 mph with his fastball. He could very well be Detroit’s closer next year, whether or not impending free agent Joaquin Benoit is brought back.
Starter Gerrit Cole has been placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to August 25, with posterior inflammation of his right elbow, the Pirates announced. Pitcher Steven Brault has been recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis for Monday night’s start against the Cubs.
Cole was scratched from Monday’s start on Sunday and instead traveled to Los Angeles to be examined by Dr. Neal ElAttrache. The right-hander previously underwent an MRI which ruled out structural damage.
Cole hits the shelf with a 3.55 ERA and a 95/32 K/BB ratio over 114 innings. The Pirates entered play Monday a half game out of the second National League Wild Card slot, so losing him for at least two more weeks will sting.
Thursday is September 1, which means rosters expand. As a result, the Nationals plan to promote pitcher Mat Latos to the major league roster, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. Latos had an opt-out clause for Monday, but after discussing the matter with the team, he agreed to stay at Triple-A Syracuse until Thursday.
Latos, 28, put up a 4.62 ERA over 11 starts with the White Sox before being released in mid-June. Nearly two weeks later, he signed a minor league contract with the Nationals.
In the Nationals’ minor league system, Latos has made three starts for the club’s Gulf Coast League team as well as three for Syracuse. In aggregate, the right-hander has yielded six runs (four earned) on 20 hits and 10 walks with 28 strikeouts in 28 innings.
Latos will likely pitch out of a long relief role for the Nationals and can be used as starting rotation insurance as well.