While there have been reports that members of the Detroit Tigers, including manager Jim Leyland, are concerned about entering the season with Bruce Rondon as its closer, GM Dave Dombrowski told reporters, including Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, that the team is "not looking to add anyone."
While Leyland may prefer to have a more veteran presence at the back-end of his bullpen, management wants to give Rondon a full shot at the closer role, according to Heyman.
Spring training stats can be misleading, but Rondon has continued to struggle finding the strike zone. In 2 2/3 innings, the 22-year-old has allowed one run on three hits while striking out five, but he's walked four in the process.
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Rondon's talent is undeniable considering his age and the fact that his fastball has reached 102 mph. But questions continue to surround him, as he's only logged eight innings above the Double-A level and owns a career BB/9 of 5.1 in the minors. As has been proven in the past, lighting up the radar gun does little good if you're unable to find the strike zone.
The Tigers were tied to veteran closers this offseason and several options remain available. Brian Wilson is still a free agent, as is former Detroit closer Jose Valverde. If the team would instead decide to hand the role to an in-house candidate, Phil Coke, Joaquin Benoit and Octavio Dotel could be options.