4 Phillies non-roster invitees poised for Opening Day roster

Brandon Kintzler #21, formerly of the Washington Nationals (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Brandon Kintzler #21, formerly of the Washington Nationals (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /
2 of 4
Hector Rondon #56, formerly of the Chicago Cubs (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

2. Hector Rondon

Right-handed reliever Hector Rondon was far from effective this past season, appearing in 23 games for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Through 20 innings pitched, he yielded 25 hits, 18 runs (17 earned), six home runs, and 11 walks. However, under new pitching coach Caleb Cotham, you have to have some confidence that the 32-year-old Venezuela native can return to his better days on the mound.

Rondon began his major-league career with the Chicago Cubs in 2013, and pitched there through the 2017 season. Combined, he went 18-13 with a 3.22 ERA and 1.127 WHIP across 296 appearances. More than 150 of those outings finished the game for the Cubs.

Afterward, and before his 2020 Diamondbacks stint, Rondon appeared in a combined 125 games between the 2018-19 seasons with the Houston Astros, and still recorded a respectable 3.46 ERA.

Rondon has 92 career saves in 120 opportunities. He is well-experienced in pitching in clutch, late-game situations. The Phillies need relievers just like that if they want to ensure their near all-time worst bullpen from the 2020 season does not have a repeat performance in the second year under manager Joe Girardi.

Rondon’s path to the 26-man roster will not be easy, considering the Phillies have Archie Bradley, Jose Alvarado, Sam Coonrod, and other bullpen additions already made. Also, they may very well choose fellow non-roster invitee Brandon Kintzler over him, if any minor-leaguer will crack the roster. However, do not rule out Rondon yet returning to some form of his early-career Cubs and Astros days and impressing down in Clearwater.