Chicago Cubs Need Hector Rondon

It’s no surprise that one of Chicago’s top relievers is going make a huge impact on the ball club going forward. Hector Rondon recently came back from minor triceps soreness that didn’t require a DL stint. However, he did have a small hiatus from action that lasted 11 games. The Chicago Cubs need Hector Rondon to be fully healthy. He finally returned to action on Sunday Night Baseball against the St. Louis Cardinals. Joe Maddon brought Rondon into the game in the eighth inning while the Cubs were leading 3-1. Rondon would struggling, giving up four earned runs and receiving the loss.

Chicago Cubs Need Hector Rondon

Fans Criticize Maddon’s Decision

Hector Rondon, the Cubs former closer, and skipper Joe Maddon, received a lot of scrutiny for the move. Fans blamed Maddon for using Rondon without any sort of rehab innings, while Rondon received criticism for his performance. The attack, however, is probably too much. If Rondon was placed on the DL, depending on what the retroactive date would have been, several more days could have been missed. An unnecessary solution, when he was healthy and able to pitch. If he was sent to the minors to accumulate innings before his return, he would have been forced to stay down for a minimum of 10 days. According to the outcry of Cubs fans, Rondon shouldn’t have been pitching. They used similar statements to back up their views.

The moves by Joe Maddon seem to be warranted and shouldn’t be questioned. Rondon maintained his pre-injury velocity, sitting mostly at 96 but also hitting 97 a number of times. His breaking ball also seemed to have about the same action to it. Rondon needs to get out on the mound and pitch in order to get back to his top performance levels. That was shown just two days later in game one of a doubleheader against the Milwaukee Brewers. Rondon, once again, came on late in a close game. Rondon pitched the entire eighth inning in a 3-0 game, surrendering just one walk.

What is Rondon’s Role?

Hector Rondon, without question, is going to play a huge role in the final month and a half of the season, as well as in the playoffs. Hector will mostly be the eighth inning guy, used to get the ball into Aroldis Chapman’s hand with the lead. With that said, there could be another possibility for Rondon. He has experience closing down big games. Rondon has an 85% save rate in his career, including saves in game two and four of the 2015 NLDS.

Even with Aroldis Chapman, Rondon could be called on to pitch in the ninth inning of a playoff game. The Washington Nationals and San Francisco Giants are two teams that could meet the Cubs in the playoffs. Both of these teams have very good hitting left-handed bats. If the Cubs would see a lineup of Ben Revere, Daniel Murphy, and Bryce Harper in the eighth inning of a close game, Maddon could call on Chapman. Rondon could then be used in the ninth, possibly facing Anthony Rendon, Ryan Zimmerman, and Jayson Werth.

Moving Forward

Hector’s performance is in the past. Coming off 11 days without action, he was in need of knocking the rust off. He needed a high-pressure situation, and was even successful in his next outing. When it’s all said and done, the game didn’t mean a whole lot. Fans just overreacted to an intense atmosphere. The Chicago Cubs need Hector Rondon, in possibly more way than one The Cubs went into the four game series with a 12-game lead over the Redbirds. They would end the series with that same 12-game lead. The division is almost guaranteed to go to the Northsiders. So Cubs fans: take a breath, relax, and enjoy the ride.