The Detroit Tigers are prepared to enter the 2013 season with right-hander Bruce Rondon as their closer. However, if the rookie struggles Detroit could view former San Francisco Giants' closer Brian Wilson as a fallback option once he's able to return from injury, according to Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe.
Rondon has yet to throw a pitch in the majors, but the Tigers were confident enough in his abilities to allow Jose Valverde to walk and not sign a veteran closer this offseason.
Rondon spent the 2012 season pitching between three levels of the Tigers' minor league system. Over 52 combined appearances in high-, Double- and Triple-A, the 22-year-old maintained an ERA of 1.53 with a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 2.54.
More Tigers: Bullpen is Tigers' greatest weakness
While he's highly regarded and his stats are undeniably impressive, Rondon has only logged nine appearances above the Double-A level. It will be interesting to see how the Tigers handle the youngster if he struggles early on this year.
Wilson continues to recover from Tommy John surgery, which ended his 2012 season in April. He reportedly wasn't impressive during his bullpen session for the New York Mets earlier this winter, but he has a solid track record as a late-inning arm. In seven seasons with the Giants, the 30-year-old owns a career ERA of 3.21 with a 2.39 strikeout-to-walk ratio.