Tigers reliever Bruce Rondon needs Tommy John surgery

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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.

The Mets expect Tim Tebow to come back next year

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Mets assistant general manager John Ricco told Newsday today that he expects minor league outfielder Tim Tebow to return for a third season in professional baseball.

Tebow, 31, broke the hamate bone in his right hand while swinging a bat in late July, ending his season. It was a fairly successful season for him all things considered. After being promoted to Double-A Binghamton to start the year he hit .273/.336/.399 with six home runs, a stolen base and a .734 OPS in 298 plate appearances and made the Double-A All-Star team. That’s not the stuff of a top prospect — he strikes out far too much and the power numbers aren’t fantastic given that power would figure to be his strongest tool — but it’s pretty respectable for a guy his age and with his relative lack of baseball experience. As I said back in July, you can believe the Mets’ interest in Tebow is more marketing than baseball, but that does not preclude you from giving the guy a deserved tip of the cap for working hard and sticking it out in the bush leagues.

Assuming he does come back, the Mets are likely to start him at Triple-A Syracuse in the hopes that he’d eventually get to the bigs as a late season callup if the Mets aren’t in contention. Indeed, many believed that was the plan for him this year had he not been injured.