Originally posted on Fangraphs  |  Last updated 3/6/13
Over much of the offseason, a lot was said about the Detroit Tigers heading into 2013 with Bruce Rondon slated to close. Rondon, 22, has a big fastball, and is a quality prospect. But it turns out there’s more to pitching than throwing really hard, and Rondon has limited experience in the upper minors and a demonstrated inability to throw strikes consistently, especially against left-handed hitters. Right now, in Tigers camp, Rondon is being given special instruction, and while there’s plenty of time in spring for him to right the ship, it’s looking less likely by the day that Rondon will close out of the gate. The Tigers want to go to the playoffs, see, and a shaky rookie closer isn’t going to help them if he’s sufficiently shaky. Rumor has it the Tigers are exploring the current closer market. How important is a closer to the Tigers? On the one hand, closer Jose Valverde had some memorable meltdowns last October, nearly costing the Tigers their season. On the other hand, with Valverde,
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