While the pitching at the big league level has been absolutely atrocious (save for a few select starters), Tribe fans should take pride in the fact that things are not as bad a few miles Interstate 77.
The 21-year old Hector Rondon has moved to 5-0 on the year after yesterday’s one-run outing against the Altoona Curve. Perfect through his first four innings, Rondon finally allowed a single in the fifth. In six and one-third total innings, Rondon allowed a mere three hits and one walk while striking out four. For those keeping score at home, that’s two fewer hits than Masa Kobayashi allowed in his zero innings of work in Boston.
On the season, Rondon sports an ERA of 1.23 thanks to 29 innings of very strong pitching. He has struck out 26 batters and has held opposing hitters to a .208 batting average.
Given the way that the Indians handled David Huff during last season’s very successful stint in the minors, I find it hard to believe that we’ll see much of Rondon with the big boys. But given the way that things have unfolded thus far through 2009, along with the way that Rondon has performed, I wouldn’t put anything out of the realm of possibility given.
With the Indians plucking more starting arms from Columbus – losers of five straight (wooo!) - for various roles within their pitching staff, it seems that moving Rondon to the Clippers to join Huff (4-1, 4.05) and company makes sense. It’s too bad that he won’t be available to face Dice-K Matsuzaka on Sunday – that would be a game to watch.