Tigers closer Bruce Rondon sent home due to “effort level”

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Things are getting awfully dysfunctional in Detroit.

First the Tigers fired longtime general manager Dave Dombrowski in the middle of the season, then rumors started circulating that manager Brad Ausmus will be let go as soon as the season ends, and now they’ve sent closer Bruce Rondon home for the remainder of the season due to his “effort level.”

Ausmus declined to give any further details on the situation, but there’s been some recent writing on the wall regarding the team being unhappy with Rondon in general.

Always a hard-thrower with shaky control, the 24-year-old right-hander has blown back-to-back save chances and has a 5.81 ERA with 19 walks in 31 innings overall this season.

At some point the Tigers are simply going to stop waiting around for something to click in Rondon and it’s possible this could be the final straw, although if the rumors are true Ausmus would merely be giving him a two-week head start out the door.

Gerrit Cole second-fastest to 200 strikeouts in a season

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Astros starter Gerrit Cole dominated the Athletics on Monday night, limiting them to one run on two hits and a walk while striking out 11. It marked his 12th start out of 22 this season with double-digit strikeouts, giving him 205 total on the season.

It is no surprise, then, to hear that Cole is the second-fastest in baseball history to reach 200 strikeouts in a season, per MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart. Cole got there in 133 1/3 innings. The only pitcher faster than Cole was Randy Johnson, who reached 200 K’s in 130 2/3 innings back in 2001 with the Diamondbacks.

Along with the 205 strikeouts, Cole holds an 11-5 record with a 3.03 ERA across 136 2/3 innings. Among qualified starters in the American League, only Charlie Morton (2.61), Mike Minor (2.86), José Berríos (2.96), and teammate Justin Verlander (2.99) have a better ERA than Cole, who has twice finished in the top-five in Cy Young Award voting.