Tigers reliever Bruce Rondon needs Tommy John surgery


Right-hander Bruce Rondon, who was competing for a spot in the Tigers’ bullpen, will miss the entire season following Tommy John elbow surgery.

Rondon was actually in the mix for the closer job last spring training, but instead got sent back to the minors because he couldn’t consistently throw strikes and ended up logging just 29 innings for the Tigers.

He showed a lot of promise upon returning to the big leagues, but missed nearly all of September with an elbow strain that has now proven to be a more serious injury.

Rondon is huge (listed at 275 pounds), throws very hard, and racks up tons of strikeouts, so he’ll remain in the Tigers’ plans even after the missed year. And if all goes well he’ll be competing for a spot in the bullpen again next spring at age 24.

Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for Red Sox

Bob Levey/Getty Images

No surprise here: Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for the Red Sox, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. The Red Sox open the season on March 29 in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Sale will oppose Chris Archer.

Sale, 28, is the fifth different Opening Day starter the Red Sox have had in as many years, preceded by Rick Porcello, David Price, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester. Sale started on Opening Day for the White Sox in 2013, ’14, and ’16.

Sale finished second in AL Cy Young Award balloting last year and finished ninth for AL MVP. He went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and a 308/43 K/BB ratio in 214 1/3 innings. Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strike out 300 or more batters in a season dating back to 2003.