The Cubs understand Hector Rondon’s medical history and have been cautious with a dominant reliever who was supposed to set up for Aroldis Chapman but now hasn’t pitched in a week.
“His triceps has come up a little bit sore, so I try to avoid him right now,” manager Joe Maddon revealed after Tuesday night’s 5-1 win over the Los Angeles Angels at Wrigley Field. “Nobody in the training room feels anything (is) seriously wrong by any means. It’s just being careful right now. That’s all.”
Rondon — who didn’t pout or complain when the Cubs acquired Chapman from the New York Yankees and took away his closing responsibilities — is scheduled to play catch on Wednesday and then reassess his right arm.
“It’s not an issue,” Rondon said. “But I feel a little tired, too, so I prefer to get my treatment, and we’ll see how I feel tomorrow.”
Once a highly regarded pitching prospect for the Cleveland Indians, Rondon missed almost three full seasons while dealing with elbow issues and recovering from Tommy John surgery, which allowed the Cubs to grab him in the Rule 5 draft at the 2012 winter meetings.
Rondon has become a true success story in terms of scouting and player development, notching 77 saves in a Cubs uniform and putting up a 1.70 ERA in 42-plus innings this season, striking out 51 of the 155 batters he’s faced while giving up only five walks.
“I know I’ve been hurt for a lot of years,” Rondon said. “I prefer to keep up with the trainer, get better and as soon as I feel good, I’ll be in the game.”