Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 3/1/13
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

Russia avoids complete ban from Rio Olympics by the IOC

Report: Padres trying to move Andrew Cashner, Derek Norris

Baseball's top prospect called up to majors by Astros

Report: Braves 'aggressively' shopping Francoeur, Aybar

Report: Hue Jackson designing plays for Terrelle Pryor

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Darnell Dockett expected to announce retirement

Report: Yankees have not discussed releasing A-Rod

Report: D-Backs making Shelby Miller available via trade

Rex Ryan: IK Enempkali could fill void left by Mario Williams

Report: Indians have best deal on table for Chapman

White Sox GM: Chris Sale has not requested trade

Eight most significant injuries going into NFL training camp

Man. U players banned from playing 'Pokemon Go?'

Ken Griffey Jr. put on backwards hat during HOF speech

Mike Piazza honors 9/11 victims during Hall of Fame speech

Jeremy Lin hints he is racially profiled by arena employees

Why did Rio mayor offer to put kangaroo in Olympic village?

Joe Maddon wastes no time cracking Chris Sale joke

Report: Lamar Odom walked out on family intervention

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

10 NFL players set to become household names in 2016

Lou Holtz regrets making immigration 'joke' at RNC

Report: Royals didn't invite Johnny Cueto to White House visit

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

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker