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Tigers send down Rondon, release McGehee, Parnell

Bruce Rondon was sent down despite a more positive showing this spring. AP Images/Orlin Wagner

LAKELAND, Fla. -- The Detroit Tigers made three significant cuts on Tuesday afternoon, sending reliever Bruce Rondon down to Triple-A Toledo and letting go of reliever Bobby Parnell and third baseman Casey McGehee via unconditional release.

Rondon's demotion was not altogether surprising, considering his marked lack of consistency in spring training.

The young flamethrower, who was sent home by the Tigers last September for work-ethic issues, came into camp with arguably the most to prove of any player. And while the team said they felt he made strides in terms of his maturity and professionalism, his work on the mound was erratic.

Rondon had a few sharp outings, but posted some very poor appearances as well, including his latest, when he gave up two home runs in Sunday's game against the Houston Astros.

Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus did leave the door open for either Parnell or McGehee to return in the future.

"Yeah, yeah," Ausmus told reporters before Monday's game against the New York Yankees. "There's a chance."

McGehee was brought to camp because of his major league experience, in his case as a third baseman.

The decision to release Parnell was a bit surprising, considering he was impressive in his last outing on Sunday and his velocity had significantly improved since the beginning of spring training.

The former Mets closer, who entered the team's bullpen competition with major league experience on his resume, signed a minor league deal as a free agent right before camp.

"He was trending in the right direction," Ausmus said. "His arm strength was coming around. His last outing was his best. But at this point we gave him his release."

Both veteran players now become free agents.