Bruce Rondon feeling renewed discomfort in elbow

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Tigers setup man Bruce Rondon made his first appearance since September 2 on Tuesday night against the Twins and struck out all three batters he faced. But he might have to be shut down again.

According to beat writer Chris Iott of MLive.com, the hard-throwing right-hander woke up Wednesday morning with renewed soreness in his troublesome pitching elbow. Tigers manager Jim Leyland would only describe the situation as “not good” and head trainer Kevin Rand chose not to speculate about the severity of the setback when probed by reporters.

Rondon, a 22-year-old from Venezuela, has a promising 3.45 ERA and 30/11 K/BB ratio in 28 2/3 innings this season. Detroit is already missing left-hander Phil Coke, who is battling elbow problems of his own, and veteran right-hander Octavio Dotel, who was ruled out for the rest of the year in late August.

The Tigers will need some excellent performances from their starting pitchers this October.

Yasiel Puig is still a free agent

Yasiel Puig
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Around this time last year, the ink was drying on Manny Machado‘s 10-year, $300 million contract with the Padres and Bryce Harper was about to put the finishing touches on his 13-year, $330 million deal with the Phillies. We had gotten used to premier free agents hanging out in limbo until late February and even into March. This past offseason, however, was a return to normal. The top three free agents — Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon, and Stephen Strasburg — all signed in December. Once the big names are off the board, the lesser free agents subsequently tend to find homes. There were a handful of noteworthy signings in January, but pretty much everyone was off the board when February began.

There are a handful of free agents remaining as I write this, with one name really sticking out: Yasiel Puig. Last season, between the Reds and Indians, Puig hit .267/.327/.458 with 24 home runs, 84 RBI, 76 runs scored, and 19 stolen bases in 611 plate appearances. He was one of only seven players in the league last year to hit at least 24 home runs and swipe at least 19 bases. While Puig has had some problems over the years, he still possesses a rare blend of power and speed that would seem useful.

The Marlins, White Sox, and Rockies have been linked to Puig this offseason. His market has been otherwise quiet since he became a free agent. The Athletic’s Jim Bowden suggests Puig will have to settle for a “pillow contract” — a one-year deal with which Puig reestablishes his market value, aiming to pursue a multi-year deal the following offseason. Along with the aforementioned three teams, Bowden suggests the Mariners, Indians, Pirates, Giants, Red Sox, and Cardinals as other teams that could potentially fit with Puig, which is not to be confused with teams having expressed interest in his services.