Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/15/14
Friday afternoon was my first opportunity to really get a good look at potential Detroit Tigers closer Bruce Rondon in action. I saw him pitch in the Futures Game last year but this was different. Bruce Rondon The 22-year old rookie-to-be has been all but anointed the closer for the 2013 Detroit Tigers. His calling card is his triple digits fastball and his ability to work in his off-speed stuff. Control issues have been his bugaboo. His 1-inning stint went like this: Single Strikeout on a decent slider down and in off the plate A quick popout to 3rd base During a drawn out walk to Ruben Tejada the baserunner stole 2nd on him and Brayan Pena’s terrible throw and then advanced to 3rd on a wild pitch Got in trouble against David Wright and had to come with a fastball down the middle, which was mid 90’s and rifled to left by Wright for an RBI single Quick groundout to 2nd base off the bat of Ike Davis A few things became quickly obvious during this outing. First off, he displayed no command of his breaking pitches. He threw several sliders and changeups and missed with all of the ones that I saw. He does throw hard but the biggest reading on the stadium gun I saw was 99. He was more often around 95-97 with a heater that he often missed high and to his right, the sign of not following through with his lead shoulder. On top of that, his demeanor didn’t seem overly impressive. I’m ok with a lack of intensity if he’s mowing people down but he wasn’t and he seemed to be trying hard to gather himself. He took several big, deep breaths in between pitches while working at a Valverdian-pace. The deep breaths served a purpose and are a good sign from a young player trying to reel it in, but they offered less conviction than the master deep-breather – Phil Coke. So what do we take away from an outing on March 1? Mainly that he has quite a bit of work to do between now and Opening Day. In one month he must find the electric arsenal that I was expecting to see, but didn’t. He must find a way to work at least one of his breaking balls into the strike zone with regularity. As of now, I think he is still the frontrunner for the closing gig in Detroit, but my faith was shaken by what I saw today. Was this a guy I foresee getting big outs in October? No, certainly not. Can he grow into that player? Yes. Do the Tigers want to give him the keys and be at the mercy of a shaky wheel and 2-footed driver? We’ll see. It’s only March 1st. To receive an email each time a new Tigers article is published, fill out the Email Notification Form [Follow me on Twitter @isportsJoe]
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Thibodeau’s relationship with Bulls 'beyond repair'

Joe Montana pins blame for Deflategate on Tom Brady

NFLPA boss: No Deflategate interviews until after SB

Blandino: Deflategate no sting; PSI in footballs not logged in

Aaron Hernandez’s DNA found on bullet casing, joint near body

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Thomas upset he was tested for PEDs over health statement

Marshawn’s press conference to end all press conferences

NFL to assist Seahawks in ID'ing Pats' ineligible receiver sets

Josh Gordon in essay: I'm not an addict

Belichick, Brady can't imagine Hall of Fame without Seau

Teammate: Johnny Manziel is definitely not a joke

Tom Izzo: 'The Twitter' may have affected team's confidence

Measles outbreak hits Arizona days before Super Bowl

Proposed pace-of-play rule changes, by the numbers

Super Bowl XLIX should smash TV viewership record yet again

NFL, officials, Carroll disagree on ineligible player rules

Seattle business rolling 12,000 joints for Super Bowl

How Yardbarker got Marshawn Lynch to open up back in 2008

Super Bowl records that won't fall anytime soon

Richard Sherman, girlfriend expecting baby any day

15 amazing Super Bowl XLIX stats

Pats fans buy Super Bowl tickets, told they're unavailable

The 10 most underrated Super Bowl performances

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

SB anthem, halftime performers through the years

Super Bowl should smash TV records

Super Bowl records unlikely to fall

15 amazing Super Bowl XLIX stats

Teammate: Manziel not a joke

Ten most underrated SB performances

Knicks ‘in play’ for Kevin Durant?

Ex-QB: Everyone deflates footballs

Where did 'Hawks, Pats find players?

Columnist: Start Skittles media boycott

The all-time best Super Bowl team

Blatt wants more LeBron MVP talk

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.