Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  Last updated 3/28/13
LAKELAND, Fla. -- The Bruce Rondon closer era will take a little longer to begin. The Detroit Tigers sent Rondon and Luis Marte to Triple-A Toledo Thursday morning before they headed to Kissimmee for their game with the Houston Astros. That mean that Darin Downs and Brayan Villarreal took the last two spots in the bullpen for the Tigers. Rondon pitched for the Tigers the last two days. Against the Atlanta Braves Tuesday, he threw a scoreless inning, striking out two. On Wednesday, Rondon allowed two runs on two hits while walking two and striking out one in 23 inning. His spring ERA is 5.84 with a 2.11 WHIP. "We like him a lot, he's thrown the ball very well at times this spring," Tigers president and general manager Dave Dombrowski said. "All the times out you can see his arm strength but we just thought he would benefit a little more from some more development time, very similar to guys like (Avisail) Garcia or (Nick) Castellanos. premium prospects that we just think would benefit from more time at Triple-A. "At times he's been very, very good and other times he's been inconsistent." That is the key for the Tigers at this point, they need a pitcher who's going to be consistent. No, they do not expect a closer to be perfect. Remember Todd Jones and Jose Valverde? They often gave up base hits or walked a guy, but they were usually able to get out of it. The difference is in the experience level. Now manager Jim Leyland will have to do what he did in the postseason. "We may not have a closer anointed but we have many guys that we think can close games," Dombrowski said. "It's maybe different, unusual, but it doesn't mean it won't work. I feel comfortable with the abilities out there." The move is also a huge vote of confidence for Downs, who has never made a big league team out of spring training. This spring Downs was 1-0 with an 0.64 ERA and 0.96 WHIP. He has 16 strikeouts and three walks in 14 innings. There was no way the Tigers could justify leaving him off the team with those numbers. "He's thrown the ball very well," Dombrowski said. "We liked him last year what he did for us. It looked like he came in with more confidence, having been at the big league level." Now the only move left is the last position player and it appears to come down to Ramon Santiago and Danny Worth. Worth still has an option.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Rams owner buys massive 520,000-acre Texas ranch

Cam Newton explains why he did not dive on fumble

George Karl’s agent rips Kings, wants broadcaster reprimanded

WATCH: Popovich has funny reaction to New Hampshire results

Suns vets pull packing peanut prank on rookie Devin Booker

Teammate gives Manning final completion ball from Super Bowl


Report: Ole Miss Football cited in 13 of 28 department violations by NCAA

Larry Sanders to consider NBA comeback after other interests stabilize

The NCAAB power rankings

SEC begins crying foul over Jim Harbaugh’s spring break plans at Michigan

Marc Gasol reportedly out indefinitely with broken foot

Patriots waive Montee Ball despite never officially re-signing running back

WATCH: Blackhawks coach walks out of press conference

Greg McElroy: Cam Newton 'quit on his team'

Tennis umpires secretly banned over gambling issues

WATCH: Dancing Kentucky fan slides down rail, fails

Clemson LB has great response to NFL draft analyst's criticism

Former Aggies QB Kyle Allen reveals culture problems at Texas A&M

Roy Williams collapses during game vs. BC

Panthers TE Greg Olsen shaves off his playoff beard

Derek Fisher thanks Knicks in statement

Miami Heat to honor Shaq by retiring his number 32

Oakland Raiders release Nate Allen

B.J. Penn announces he will return at UFC 197

Bring back the Dunk Contest

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.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker