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]
PLAYERS: Bruce Rondon
TEAMS: Detroit Tigers
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Broncos reportedly waive kicker McManus, sign Connor Barth

Report: Browns not committed to Brian Hoyer long-term

Pablo Sandoval, Red Sox officially agree to contract

Ex-NFLer passed out in Wendy's drive-thru, arrested for DUI

Ex-NFL DB Fred Smoot arrested on domestic assault charges

Jets’ Sheldon Richardson: ‘I didn’t get drafted to lose games’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jose Canseco's fiancée Leila Knight breaks it off with slugger

Rex Ryan reportedly wants to start Michael Vick in Week 13

Tom Thibodeau: Derrick Rose must ‘get out there and play’

Reports: Jon Lester, Red Sox still engaged in contract talks

Peter King, Red Sox picked the wrong time to send these tweets

Report: Pablo Sandoval felt disrespected by Giants

'Fire Idzik' billboard updated with suggestion for Jets owner

Watt buys pizza, shows gratitude to Houston firefighters, cops

College football's post-Week 13 Playoff projection

Which teams have the best shot at an undefeated season?

Infographic: Terrell Suggs' sack victims after notching 100th

Dude Perfect video features Russell Wilson, Pete Carroll

Rick Pitino 'played four white guys and an Egyptian' in blowout

NFL Power Rankings after Week 12

WATCH: James Harden had another lapse on defense

One thing every NFL team should be thankful for

Could Kentucky beat the 76ers?

NFC South mess should force NFL into new playoff format

Tigers 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.

Post-Week 13 CFB Playoff projection

What has Masai Ujiri built in Toronto?

How L.A. should replace Hanley

Lester, Red Sox still talking contract

Why each NFL team should be thankful

Could Kentucky beat the 76ers?

Greatest college football rivalries

LeBron on losing streak: 'I stink'

Report: Manziel, friends get in brawl

Tate: Loss to Pats was 'embarrassing'

Bill Belichick burns Dominic Raiola

Boldin on Haslett: He's irrelevant

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.