Rondon faces hitters for first time in rehab

Rondon faces hitters for first time in rehab

KANSAS CITY -- Hard-throwing reliever Bruce Rondon threw to hitters on Thursday for the first time in his rehab as he continues his way back from biceps tendinitis.

Rondon threw at the Tigers' Spring Training complex in Lakeland, Fla. If he feels fine on Friday, he'll throw one more session before being considered for a Minor League rehab assignment.

Rondon has been on the 15-day disabled list since the end of Spring Training. The Tigers have been taking a deliberate approach to his rehab since he was shut down a few weeks ago for another round of medication.

How Rondon progresses is likely to have a major impact on how the Tigers view their bullpen and any potential moves going into the summer. If healthy, Rondon would give Detroit another right-handed setup man to pair with Joba Chamberlain, who has taken the bulk of the eighth-inning work since Joe Nathan went on the DL shortly after Opening Day.

Joe Nathan undergoes Tommy John surgery

Though the Tigers continue to be cited in reports as a potential destination for free-agent reliever Rafael Soriano, there are no indications that he's a serious consideration at this point.

That said, Rondon could end up needing a deliberate rehab assignment in the Minors to get geared up for Major League competition again.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.