Chicago Cubs: What went wrong for Hector Rondon in 2017?
By Jake Misener
Chicago Cubs: There’s cause for optimism
As a staff, the Cubs struggled badly with control. It ultimately cost Chris Bosio his job at season’s end. So don’t think control issues were unique to Hector Rondon in 2017.
By a lot of measures, Rondon did what he’s done in the past. He mixed fastball and slider to opponents, he pitched well in the clutch – all what we’ve come to expect. In late and close situations, according to Baseball Reference, the Venezuelan limited opponents to a .197/.319/.328 line.
He didn’t have velocity issues. His fastball had life – it just came down to executing. Working with new pitching coach Jim Hickey will hopefully lend attention to Rondon’s issues in locating his pitches ahead of 2018.
I’ve been criticized for being overly optimistic. Earlier this weekend, I suggested Justin Wilson may be a prime bounce back candidate and I was flayed alive by more than a few Internet commenters. But, again. Similar to Wilson, Rondon’s 2017 performance in a Cubs uniform is a statistical outlier.
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Until there’s a year-to-year trend and statistical evidence that suggests otherwise, I’m going to be optimistic. Hector Rondon has been a top-shelf reliever for several years now and he may very well prove what he’s worth yet again in 2018.