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Rondon's first throwing session postponed by rain


MESA, Ariz. -- Hector Rondon's first throwing session to hitters was postponed a day because of rain on Wednesday. The Cubs hope to have the right-hander throw early on Thursday. They're eager to get a look at him.

The Cubs selected Rondon in the 2012 Rule 5 Draft at the Winter Meetings, which surprised the pitcher. He was the Indians' Minor League pitcher of the year in '09, leading the organization with 137 strikeouts and ranking fourth in innings.

But Rondon needed Tommy John surgery in August 2010, then fractured the same joint in his right elbow during winter ball in Venezuela in '11. He did pitch in Venezuela this winter and said he's 100 percent healthy and ready to go.

The biggest change he's had to make is from starter to reliever.

"Sometimes it's really hard to come in from the bullpen, sometimes it's easy," he said. "It depends on the situation."

What's helped is that two years ago, the right-hander learned how to throw a cutter, and he's able to get more ground-ball outs. He just has to make sure he's warmed up enough in the 'pen to get a feel for the pitch.

"When you come in to start a game, you have time to be patient," he said. "When you come in as a reliever, you have to be ready right away."

Rondon expects to be used in middle relief, but not throw more than two innings.

"I don't want to overthrow," he said.

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