With another scoreless outing Friday afternoon, Hector Rondon is looking like a guy you can trust in October once again. It hasn’t been the best season for the Cubs’ former closer, but Rondon has put up numbers more like his old self since late August.
After allowing three home runs to the Cincinnatti Reds on August 23, Rondon’s stat line is lights out:
8.0 IP / 0 ER / 4 H / 0 BB / 11 K (10 games)
Rises in home runs and walks have been the killer for Rondon this season. The normally controlled reliever only surrendered a 7.7 percent HR/FB rate and 5.3 percent walk rate in his 30-save 2015 campaign. Nearly two years later, however, Rondon’s controlled has escaped him, as his 22.2 percent HR/FB rate before September would have been the highest total of his MLB career, and his 9.4 percent walk rate would have been his greatest since his rookie campaign in 2013.
Further, Rondon’s recent upper 90s velocity has been the best all season. If he is working with his best stuff, and he can command it, we know how dangerous a weapon he can be for Joe Maddon.
While this final weekend could prove pivotal for some bullpen arms in an effort to make the postseason roster, Hector is quickly climbing back up the totem pole. Having him pitching to the ability he has shown in the past would be a huge boost for a bullpen still trying to figure out its exact setup prior to a date with the Washington Nationals.
And hey, he might have a future as pinch hitter regardless.