Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  Last updated 1/26/13
DETROIT -- Rookie Bruce Rondon, the Tigers' top prospect to close this season, is being considered by the Venezuelan national team to be its closer in the World Baseball Classic when competition begins in early March. I have heard a lot of talk about that, Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski said, but weve never been officially asked. Observations of Rondon during spring training will be critical to determining if he's indeed up to the challenge of replacing Jose Valverde. Losing two or three weeks of Grapefruit League outings would cut the teams evaluation period in half. I asked Dombrowski if he would intervene and have Rondon decline rather than leaving the choice up to him. I know what youre saying, Dombrowski said, but at this point, I would choose not to deal with something that has not been an official request. Well wait and see and talk about it if and when the time comes. Dombrowski touched on that possibility Saturday during a question-and-answer session at TigerFest. While describing Rondon as the leading candidate to be Detroits closer, Dombrowski added, They asked him to play for the World Baseball (Classic) club. Evidently Rondon hasn't been asked in an official capacity yet, though. Rafael Betancourt, who saved 31 games last year for the Colorado Rockies and had a 2.81 ERA, has elected to skip the World Baseball Classic. Major League single-season saves record-holder Francisco K-Rod Rodriguez (62 in 2008 with the Angels) is on the Venezuelan roster, but was 2-7 with a 4.38 ERA last year and didn't close for the Milwaukee Brewers. That leaves the Venezuelans in need of a closer who can get the job done, and Rondon has been effective in the Venezuelan Winter League. He's earned saves in nine of 10 opportunities. Turning down such an honor is difficult to do in Venezuela, where the passion for baseball is greater than in any other South American country. Baseball is No. 1 ahead of soccer in Venezuela, and that's not the case anywhere else on the continent. Venezuela already has Detroit third baseman Miguel Cabrera and starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez set on their roster.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Odell Beckham Jr. appears to take shot at Ben McAdoo

Report: Seahawks players feel Sherman bombshell story ‘nailed it’

Turkey: Kanter a member of terrorist group, issues warrant

Chad Johnson says Roger Goodell consulted him on touchdown celebration rule change

Kevin Durant is not to blame for the NBA’s lack of parity, and he knows it

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Khloe Kardashian called out Cavs fan who mentioned ‘curse’

Warriors’ Mike Brown: Steve Kerr may be back for the Finals

Dodgers transfer Andrew Toles and Scott Kazmir to the 60-day disabled list

Looking back at 40 years of women racing in the Indianapolis 500

U.S. national soccer teams to wear LGBT-themed jerseys to celebrate pride month

Mike Zimmer: Teddy Bridgewater still has ‘long ways to go’

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Box Score 5/26: Bring on the Finals

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

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

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

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