The Tigers optioned right-hander Bruce Rondon to Triple-A Toledo. In a corresponding move, the Tigers have purchased the contract of fellow right-handed reliever Joe Jimenez from Triple-A, according to Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press.
Rondon had a mostly-flawless inning against the White Sox in his season debut last week, allowing one hit and striking out one in a scoreless frame. But he was roughed up over the weekend in two appearances against the Red Sox. The 26-year-old surrendered three hits, three walks, and was charged with six earned runs while recording just one out. Rondon took the loss on Sunday.
Detroit has been concerned with Rondon’s conditioning and diminished velocity this spring. He normally consistently sits in the upper 90s and can touch 100 with his fastball, but Rondon was in the low-to-mid 90s last month. The Tigers hope a minors stint will allow Rondon to get back in shape and work on some things.
Jimenez, 22, is one of the top relief prospects in the game. He posted a microscopic 1.51 ERA and 78/17 K/BB mark across 53.2 innings between three levels of the minors last season, notching 30 saves. Jimenez will provide a much-needed bullpen boost.