Detroit Tigers trade for shortstop, Bruce Rondon out for season

Just one day after the Detroit Tigers confirmed that Jose Iglesias’ injury will keep him out for 4-6 months, Dave Dombrowski made a trade with the Los Angeles Angels for shortstop Andrew Romine.

The 28-year old comes off a season in which he hit .258 in a career-high 123 plate appearances in the big leagues. Romine, who was ranked by Baseball America as the best defensive infielder in the Angels’ system four times from 2007-2011, played games at shortstop, second base, and third base for the Angels last season.

Romine joins Hernan Perez, Eugenio Suarez, and Danny Worth as possible replacements for Iglesias this season.

detroit tigers

Former Tigers lefty Jose Alvarez

In exchange, Detroit dealt left-handed pitcher Jose Alvarez to the Angels.

The 24-year old didn’t experience much success in his limited time at the big-league level, but was named Detroit’s Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2013. At the Triple-A level, Alvarez has pitched 128.1 innings, with a 2.80 ERA, and eight strikeouts per nine innings.

But that wasn’t the only news that came from the Tigers’ organization on Friday, the team also announced that Bruce Rondon will undergo Tommy John surgery, subsequently ruling him out for the entire 2014 season.

In 2013, Rondon had a 3.45 ERA and struck out 30 batters in 28.2 innings, a one-trick pony that could easily hit triple digits on the speed gun.

Rondon’s secondary pitchers were nowhere near as developed as his heater was last season, however, his slider and changeup had been greatly approved upon in the offseason, slating him as the Tigers’ primary setup man.

High expectations also surrounded the 23-year old after he showed that he hadn’t lost any heat to his fastball after dropping 30 pounds in the offseason.

All of those expectations are out the window now and the Tigers will have to rely on either Joba Chamberlain, Al Alburquerque, or Ian Krol to get the ball to closer Joe Nathan.

Losing a hard-throwing relief pitcher isn’t anything new to Tigers fans, remember Joel Zumaya?

Just like Rondon, Zumaya’s fastball was electric, but countless injuries left a promising career unfulfilled as Zumaya finally hung up the cleats earlier this year. Zumaya last saw big-league action in 2010 and his comeback attempt with the Minnesota Twins was cut short after he underwent Tommy John surgery in 2012.

Tommy John surgery is not necessarily a career-ending procedure but just the sound of it makes my ears cringe.

The injuries keep pilling up on the Tigers. Andy Dirks was already expected to miss significant time this season and now it’s likely that both Iglesias and Rondon won’t see the field in 2014. Let’s just hope that the injury bug leaves Miguel Cabrera alone this season.

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