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Bruce Rondon expected to be ready and willing for Tigers spring training

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Tigers reliever Bruce Rondon got sent home early last season because of a lack of effort. He was then involved in a crazy benches-clearing brawl in the Venezuelan Winter League. And he also recently contracted the chikungunya virus, which caused him to miss a scheduled appearance on the Tigers’ annual caravan tour around the state of Michigan.

An ugly string of events, but the hard-throwing 25-year-old right-hander is expected to report to spring training on time and should be a full participant from the get-go. Tigers GM Al Avila spoke this weekend with Aaron McCann of MLive.com

“That virus, his virus, it’s a contagious thing,” Avila said Saturday during TigerFest at Comerica Park. “Even though right now he’s probably OK, our doctors felt why put the other guys at risk?

“It was more of a precaution to keep him there, because he’s still not 100 percent ready to go. But from everything our doctors are telling me, he should have no issues in spring training.”

Rondon was once considered the Tigers’ closer of the future and he earned five saves as a fill-in last season, but he has taken a tumble down the bullpen depth chart. He finished the 2015 campaign with a 5.81 ERA in 35 total appearances.

Tigers sign Edwin Jackson to a minor league deal

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The good news: most-traveled-player ever Edwin Jackson has a job again. The bad news: it’s not with team number 15. He’s repeating himself, going back to the Tigers, for whom he pitched in 2009. Oh well.

Jackson, 35, posted a ghastly 11.12 ERA in 28 and a third innings over eight appearances with the Blue Jays this season, five of which came as starts. If he can manage to be merely bad instead of terrible he’s likely to get several starts for Detroit in the second half as the Tigers are playing for nothing and teams playing for nothing are well-served by veteran arms.

And heck, if he starts one in the next week or so and is amazing, maybe — just maybe — Detroit can flip him to team number 15? We can dream, can’t we?