Found January 24, 2013 on
MLB Injury News:
With Jose Valverde's struggles last season and in the playoffs, it quickly became clear that the Detroit Tigers would go another direction with their closer in 2013. However, it just wasn't clear what that direction would be. There were numerous high-quality closers on the free agent market, but Detroit's plan is to stick with someone internal; Bruce Rondon.
Rondon was signed out of Venezuela three years ago, but he has not thrown a pitch in the Majors. Regardless, Tigers' GM Dave Dombrowski is confident the fireballer will be their closer this year. Rondon throws in excess of 100 mph, but he will need to develop more command of his pitches. According to Lynn Henning of the Detroit News, Dombrowski understands the risks involved with making Rondon the closer, but he feels the benefits outweigh those risks.
The only reason the Tigers are in a situation in which they need a new closer is Jose Valverde's struggles last season. Valverde did not blow a save at all in 2011. However, in 2012 Valverde posted the second-highest ERA of his career, saved fewer games, and broke down in the postseason. Valverde openly admitted he was fatigued toward the end of the year.
Rondon, in five minor league seasons, has posted a 2.53 ERA. He has been used as a closer off and on in the minors and has 65 career saves. Rondon's biggest problem is finding the strike zone. He averages 5.1 walks per nine innings pitched. The Tigers will need him to improve on that number, but it seems as if the front office is confident in the 22-year old's ability to do so.
var _gaq = _gaq || ;
ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + '.google-analytics.com/ga.js';
var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script'); s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s);
BEST OF MAXIM
The Papa Grande era in Detroit is over. And that is probably for the best. Despite his 110 saves from 2010 to 2011 and despite being perfect in 2011, Valverde saw a serious reduction of his ability to fool or blow away major league hitters in 2012, particularly late in the season. And the eccentric closer was completely pounded during the last two post seasons. So now Valverde is...
The spotlight of spring training is going to be shining largely on rookie Bruce Rondon. The almost-anointed successor to departed Jose Valverde as Detroit's closer was the subject of the most questions as the Tigers began their winter publicity caravan prior to last weekend. Rondon, 22, has yet to throw a pitch in the majors but when he does the radar gun will likely clock...
The hot stove in regards to the Detroit Tigers isn’t exactly burning at this point in the offseason. Smoldering, maybe. The Tigers may very well make some additional moves to tighten up the roster but by and large the attention is turning to the roster as it currently sits.
With that in mind, here are some burning questions that fans are demanding answers to. This will be a 2-part...
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. -- Miguel Cabrera doesn't strike out very much.
While becoming the first player to hit for the Triple Crown since 1967, the Detroit Tigers third baseman fanned just 98 times in 622 at-bats in 2012.
So you can understand why any pitcher who gets the best of Cabrera would brag about it, and Tigers reliever Phil Coke did just that during a winter caravan stop...
DETROIT -- Justin Verlander, Tiger for Life.
That has a nice ring for both Verlander and Tigers fans. And a deal to keep him in Detroit for the duration of his career could become a reality either before or after his current deal for five years at 80 million expires after the 2014 season.
I told Verlander during a media gathering at Comerica Park on Thursday that when Zack Greinke...
TOLEDO, Ohio -- Tigers manager Jim Leyland ducked past several reporters Wednesday night before an event at Fifth Third Stadium.
You guys thought you got rid of me, Leyland eventually said with a smile.
Leyland signed another one-year contract shortly after the World Series, which is just fine with him. He prefers to review his situation at the end of each season.
He was asked...
Players do not often reveal their motivations these days. It can hurt their contract negotiations when working on an extension. Justin Verlander is not concerned with that, though. At the Detroit Tigers' annual luncheon, Verlander made no secret of his desire to spend the rest of his career in Detroit.
Jason Beck of MLB.com says the question about what Verlander wants...
After winning the American League pennant in 2012 but losing the World Series in four straight games, the Detroit Tigers are ready to try to take that elusive final step.
The Tigers are led again by a collection of stars that would make pretty much any team envious. Right-hander Justin Verlander was the AL MVP two years ago, and slugger Miguel Cabrera was voted MVP last season after...
Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander recently stated that he would like to spend his entire career in the Motor City and earn Hall of Fame honors in the process. What is the likelihood of this happening?
According to baseballreference.com career leaders for WAR (wins above replacement), of the Top 50 pitchers of all-time only Walter Johnson, Bob Gibson, Carl Hubbell, Jim Palmer...
Coming into 2012, one of the biggest questions the team was facing was whether or not superstar Miguel Cabrera could successfully make the shift back to third base. Cabrera was able to hold his own, but just how well did he do, and was it good enough to stick there long term?
Tweet After a 2012 season that saw Delmon Young hit .267 with 18 home runs and 74 RBI (as well as earn ALCS MVP honors) the Detroit Tigers opted to not re-sign him, allowing Young to become a free agent. Detroit’s loss is the Philadelphia Phillies’ gain, or that’s what they’re banking on. The [...]