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.

Report: José Ramírez diagnosed with knee contusion

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Indians third baseman José Ramírez had to be carted off the field in the top of the third inning of Sunday afternoon’s Cactus League game agaisnt the White Sox. Ramírez fouled a pitch off of his leg during an at-bat against pitcher Sean Nolin.

MLB.com’s Mandy Bell reports that Ramírez was diagnosed with a left knee contusion after he was taken for X-rays. The X-rays were negative, per ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

Ramírez, 26, finished third in AL MVP Award voting last season, batting .270/.387/.552 with 39 home runs, 105 RBI, 110 runs scored, and 34 stolen bases across 698 plate appearances. He was worth 7.9 Wins Above Replacement, according to Baseball Reference. If Ramírez lands on the injured list, that would obviously be a huge loss for the Indians, despite being the overwhelming favorites in the AL Central entering the season.

The Indians will already start the season without second baseman Jason Kipnis and shortstop Francisco Lindor, though both are expected to return before the end of April. The infield is in rough shape at the moment.