Chicago Cubs: What went wrong for Hector Rondon in 2017?
By Jake Misener
Chicago Cubs: Team had one of the best for a stretch
For whatever reason, Cubs fans love to loathe Hector Rondon and Pedro Strop. We won’t get into the reasons here – but the point is this. These two are both very capable of being quality bullpen arms on any big-league roster.
We’ll go back to 2014 for starters. The right-hander, who entered the year without a major league save to his name, racked up 29 over the course of the season, posting a 1.058 WHIP and 2.26 FIP. His 4.20 strikeout-to-walk ratio led to repeated success over the course of the year. Just like that, the Cubs had a weapon on their hands.
He built on that success in 2015, as well. This time, he saved 30 games for Chicago, lowering his earned run average down to 1.67 – despite his FIP rising to 2.68. But, let’s be honest, we’ll take that number any day out of any reliever. He clearly benefited from the team’s defense, but you have to use what’s behind you when you’re on the mound.
Over that two-year stretch, Hector Rondon was masterful for the Cubs. He appeared in 136 games, posting a 2.03 ERA across 133 1/3 innings of work. He struck out 132 batters, walking just 30. Heading into the 2016 campaign, the ninth inning was locked down and Hector Rondon was the guy you wanted with the ball. Period.