Notes: Rondon runs into trouble; Krol shifted to Saturday

Bruce Rondon still has a little more than a week left in spring training so his rough outing Friday is not considered a big deal.

Reinhold Matay

DUNEDIN, Fla. — It’s easy to forget that Bruce Rondon is still very young with very little major league experience.

Rondon came into Friday’s outing in Dunedin against the Toronto Blue Jays with good spring numbers.

In six spring games before Friday, Rondon had a 3.00 ERA with one walk and six strikeouts.

But that changed a bit.

With some rain falling in the bottom of the fifth, Rondon was throwing his usual 97 mile-per-hour fastball.

But Toronto’s Dalton Pompey singled on it.

Then when Rondon did not get a strike call on a 2-1 pitch to Justin Smoak, he let it get the better of him.

Rondon left a 94 mile-per-hour fastball up and Smoak, well, smoked it for a two-run home run.

"I think he got a little frustrated with one call and frustration cost him," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said.

Rondon then walked Ryan Goins and gave up a base hit to Jose Reyes before the game was called.

"Control was a little bit off, obviously," pitching coach Jeff Jones said. "The pitch that was hit out of the ballpark was up. I thought the previous pitch could have gone either way, threw a pretty good slider that was down, wasn’t called a strike. Then gave up the home run. His command was a little bit off today."

Rondon still has a little more than a week left in spring training so it’s not considered a big deal.

The main thing is just making sure that Rondon is healthy coming off of last spring’s Tommy John surgery.


Because Justin Verlander left the game early, most of the Tigers pitchers got their work in.

But because the rain forced the game to be called in the fifth inning, Ian Krol did not get to pitch as scheduled.

"Krol can pitch tomorrow so it’s not like it’s any type of enormous setback," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "Ver didn’t get to the pitch count he wanted to, but (Bruce) Rondon was able to pitch, (Kyle) Ryan was able to pitch. So it’s not a huge problem."

Krol is one of the left-handers still in contention for a bullpen role with the Tigers, along with Ryan and Blaine Hardy.

Krol has a 4.50 ERA with four walks and eight strikeouts in six appearances this spring.

Tigers fans have no reason for worry.

The reason that Victor Martinez was removed from Friday’s lineup at Dunedin, Fla., was not due to any knee issues.

"He felt good this morning, he wanted to go but the report said that there was 100 percent chance of rain during the game," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "There’s no reason to risk it and if he’s not here, he can’t risk it."

Martinez remained in Lakeland, where he did his usual early morning workout and planned to hit in the cage.

The rain did come out a little before 2 p.m., eventually forcing the game to be called in the bottom of the fifth inning.

"It was probably a wise choice to leave him behind," Ausmus said after the game. "Quite frankly, I thought he could use a day off anyway. Rain was a convenient excuse."

Martinez is scheduled to be the designated hitter for Saturday’s home game against the St. Louis Cardinals.

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