Results tagged ‘ Hector Rondon ’

Winter League Highlights: Rondon trying to bounce back

After undergoing Tommy John elbow surgery, it can be difficult for a pitcher to regain confidence in the arm. That’s what Cubs prospect Hector Rondon is dealing with now. Except he’s returning from multiple surgeries to the same elbow.

The Venezuelan right-hander, whom the Cubs selected with the second overall pick of last week’s Rule 5 Draft, underwent Tommy John surgery in August 2010 and had another procedure in December 2011, wiping out much of the last three seasons. After throwing just seven innings in 2012, Rondon is trying to work his way back to his 2009 self, when he was named the Indians pitching prospect of the year.

To get some innings under his belt before reporting to Spring Training in mid-February, Rondon has been playing winter ball for the Leones del Caracas in his native Venezuela. The reliever has eased back into things, pitching 19 innings in 21 appearances. At first glance, his 4.26 ERA and 2-1 record are nothing to get excited about. But after struggling in three of his first four games—he surrendered four earned runs in his first appearance—he reeled off 14 straight outings from Oct. 23-Dec. 1 without giving up an earned run. Since Dec. 1, he’s given up one earned run in each of his last three appearances.

On the winter, the ground ball pitcher has not surrendered a home run and has struck out 11 batters.

Because he was selected in the Rule 5 Draft, Rondon will have to be on the team’s active roster for the duration of the season or be offered back to Cleveland.

There were no games played yesterday as Mexico and Puerto Rico were off, and the Dominican and Venezuelan leagues are on their All-Star breaks.

Cubs acquire Rondon in Rule 5 Draft

XM All-Star Futures Game

(Photo by Mark Cunningham/Getty Images)

The Cubs selected right-handed pitcher Hector Rondon, 24, from the Indians with the second overall pick in the Rule 5 Draft Thursday morning.

Originally signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2004, the six-foot-three, 180-pound hurler has a career record of 36-36 and a 3.88 ERA in 120 minor league games (587.0 IP).

Rondon was one of the Indians top prospects before struggling with injuries in recent years. He had Tommy John surgery in August 2010 and had a second procedure in December 2011, wiping out the majority of the last three seasons.

The Guatire, Venezuela native was named Cleveland’s minor league pitcher of the year and an Eastern League All-Star in 2009 after going 11-10 with a complete game, a 3.38 ERA (55 ER/146.1 IP), and 137 strikeouts in 27 games (25 starts) between Double-A Akron and Triple-A Columbus. That season, he ranked first in the Indians organization in strikeouts,  third in wins and fourth in innings pitched. In 2008, Rondon went 11-6 with a 3.60 ERA (58 ER/145.0 IP) and 145 strikeouts in 27 starts with Single-A Kinston, and was named a Carolina League All-Star and the ninth-best prospect in the league by Baseball America.

He did pitch seven innings to wrap up the 2012 campaign, posting no record with a 1.29 ERA and nine strikeouts in four games between rookie ball and Double-A Akron. Baseball America ranked Rondon Cleveland’s No. 22 prospect prior to the 2012 season.

Rondon will have to be on the Cubs’ 25-man roster for the duration of the season, or be offered back to Cleveland.

The Cubs lost right-handed pitcher Starling Peralta in the major league portion of the Rule 5 Draft when he was selected in the first round (14th overall) by the Arizona Diamondbacks. They also lost outfielder Michael Burgess, infielder Matt Cerda and right-handed pitcher Alvido Jimenez in the Triple-A phase of the draft.


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