Numbers only tell so much about a player, the mental side of the game matters too.
Back in the 2015 season, the 9th inning was Rondon’s. Then when 2016 rolled around, Rondon was starting to struggle. Then there were questions about whether or not Rondon could be a dominant closer.
Since Rondon failed to prove himself as a closer, the Cubs brought in Aroldis Chapman. Rondon then tucked his tail between his legs and assumed the role of setup man. Even though publicly he said that the move didn’t bother him, deep down it had to have been a huge blow to his ego.
Once the playoffs rolled around, we saw how Joe Maddon trusted nobody besides number 54 out of the ‘pen. Another blow to Rondon’s ego.
Then the Cubs win the World Series (SPOILER ALERT), and Chapman decides to go back to the Bronx. Again, the Cubs faced a closer problem.
What did they do with that problem? They just traded for one of the best closers in the game (Wade Davis) leaving Rondon in the dust. Once again, in the span of just a year’s time, Rondon took three huge blows to his ego.
His slider may be what’s causing trouble on the bump, but the lack of trust between Rondon and the Cubs organization can’t be understated.