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Cubs' Joe Maddon: Still 'A Little' Wiggle Room In Deciding Postseason Bullpen Roles

(CBS) The worries for the Cubs as the postseason approaches are the nit-picky type most teams would dream of having, but one that has persisted lately is the performance of setup man Hector Rondon.

In his last two outings, covering 1 1/3 innings, Rondon has allowed five earned runs on six hits, including two homers, and a walk. Rondon missed the last two weeks of August with a triceps strain, but he's feeling good now.

"It really is about that, just having him command his slider better," manager Joe Maddon said Tuesday on the Spiegel and Goff Show. "And the form of his slider needs to be better too. With him, with me, with all of us, it's more of a mechanical issue that anything else. He's fine. He's physically fine. His fastball is really good, and he's thrown some really good sliders, but it's been inconsistent.

"I believe in his situation, it's absolutely a mechanical situation that can be fixed. We're going to get him out there several more times prior to the playoffs actually beginning."

Rondon was thought to be the Cubs' eighth-inning man in the playoffs, but that job could have fellow setup man Pedro Strop's name on it. Maddon acknowledged while the bullpen is mostly set in stone, there's still some decisions to be made on exact roles in the postseason, some of which he'll play by ear and feel in the moment.

Strop has had two scoreless outings since returning from a meniscus tear and groin issue.

"It's just a matter of good health, that the guys are well and they're throwing like they can," Maddon said. "It really comes down to that. I mean, the seventh and eighth inning when you get to that particular moment in the playoffs, you're talking about Strop and Rondon -- and primarily the same pitcher. I don't know if there's a real strong obvious moment where one's better against this group than the other. We may do something differently.

"There's probably a little nuance in regards to trying to set this thing, but for the most part, it's just based on health."

Listen to Maddon's full interview below.

Joe Maddon on the Spiegel and Goff Show

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