by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com (5/1/2013) The Tigers remain committed to reliever Bruce Rondon's future as a part of the team's bullpen, but his continued struggles earned him another demotion Wednesday.
Rondon was optioned to Triple-A Toledo, after allowing two runs on two hits and two walks in 1/3 innings Wednesday.
"Right now he’s just not ready for this," Tigers manager Jim Leyland told the Detroit Free Press. "When I say that, please don’t think anybody's down on him. We think he's a future closer at the major league level. But I can't get him enough work right now."
Rondon made three appearances since being called up, allowing three runs in 2 1/3 innings. The team called up Luke Potkonen to replace Rondon on the roster.
"Not being thrown into the closer role should help him," Leyland said to The Detroit News. "We still think he has that equipment for the future. He's a very emotional young guy who takes it very hard and very personal (when he doesn't do well), and I want to commend that. But it's also something you have to overcome to become a big-league relief pitcher and eventually, hopefully, a closer."
Not so fast, Bruce Rondon
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com (4/23/2013) Earlier today, a few of our experts chimed in with their opinion on the Tigers' bullpen situation, throwing their weight behind young fireballer Bruce Rondon. Rondon got the call from Triple-A Toledo earlier in the day and seemed a likely bet to step into the team's closer's role, but manager Jim Leyland put that speculation to an end before Tuesday's game. Leyland confirmed that Jose Valverde will be the team's closer, starting Wednesday.
Rondon has huge upside, but we have spent far too much time discussing someone who the Tigers' organization seems to have no faith in at the end of games. Rondon's 100-mile-per-hour heat should work well at the end of games sometime in the future, but the Tigers are putting that off as long as they can.
Rondon is probably going to pile up strikeouts (9.8 per nine innings in the minors), but if he isn't consistently getting save opportunities, he will have little value in most Fantasy formats.
You should drop Joaquin Benoit for Bruce Rondon
by Nando Di Fino | Senior Fantasy Writer (4/23/2013) With Bruce Rondon getting called up, the Tigers' closer situation looks like it can go two different ways right now, and neither ends with Joaquin Benoit getting saves.
Either Rondon -- who saved three games and struck out nine in 7 2/3 scoreless minor league innings with Toledo -- gets a couple chances, converts them, and runs away with the job (thus fulfilling the Dombrowski Prophecy of 2012), or Rondon's control issues pop up and Jose Valverde slides in as the closer, as he is currently inching his way back up to the majors.
Benoit, at best, becomes the backup (maybe Valverde is released if Rondon proves capable, or Rondon is sent down after showing control problems), and at worst becomes the third option. But I doubt the Tigers are grooming Valverde and giving Rondon another shot just to slot them both in middle relief so Benoit can close games. Rondon may not end up being the closer, but he has a much better long-term shot at it than Benoit.
Now is the time to act on Bruce Rondon
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer (4/23/2013) Tigers manager Jim Leyland may have told CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Danny Knobler that newly recalled Bruce Rondon isn't coming up to close, but him leaving the door open for Rondon to get a few save opportunities makes it pretty clear what he has in mind.
After some struggles this spring, Rondon was a different pitcher during his seven minor-league appearances, issuing just two walks while recording nine strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings. If he's just as dominant in the majors, then he and his 100-mile-per-hour fastball will quickly move up the pecking order. Of course, if he's just as dominant in the majors, we'll probably know it right away.
If he strikes out two in a scoreless inning against the Royals Tuesday night, you might not be able to beat the rush to the waiver wire. So why not beat it now, particularly if you already missed out on Andrew Bailey and Edward Mujica?
Bruce Rondon getting the call
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com (4/23/2013) Tigers reliever Bruce Rondon is headed to the majors.
The Tigers have called up Rondon, and placed Octavio Dotel on the disabled list. Rondon was thought to be the favorite for the closer role at the beginning of spring training, but struggled and was sent to the minors. He'll likely provide help in the pen, and could be a contender for the closer role if he performs well.
Triple-A manager talks up Bruce Rondon
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com (4/17/2013) Tigers reliever Bruce Rondon is a decent bet to make it back to the majors in 2013 and it could be sooner rather than later, The Detroit News reports.
"He's gonna be good -- trust me," Triple-A Toledo manager Phil Nevin said. "He threw 14 of 16 pitches for strikes at one point the other night. He's starting to recognize things. People just need to realize how old he is (22). He's pitched three months of baseball above Class A. But what I like most about him is that he's got the mentality of a closer that must come with that job. He wants that ball in the ninth."
Rondon has tossed 5 2/3 scoreless innings for Toledo, striking out seven. He's surrendered four hits and two walks, while recording one save.
Bruce Rondon to close at Triple-A
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com (3/28/2013) Tigers reliever Bruce Rondon, who was demoted to Triple-A Toledo in a shocking move Thursday, will be the closer for the Mud Hens, reports MLB.com.
"We like him a lot," general manager Dave Dombrowski said. "He has thrown the ball very well at times this spring. But we felt he could benefit from more development time."
Rondon got off to a rough start this spring before settling down after making a tweak to his delivery. Unfortunately, Rondon had more troubles late in the spring, which led to his demotion. He allowed eight runs on 17 hits and nine walks in 12 1/3 innings.
Despite the demotion, Dombrowski left the door open on a quick recall for the 22-year-old reliever. But he quickly added, "I don’t want to put a time frame on it."
Bruce Rondon's demotion means a world of confusion
by Nando Di Fino | Senior Fantasy Writer (3/28/2013) With would-be Tigers closer Bruce Rondon optioned to Triple-A on Thursday, the Tigers are expected to use a handful of options at closer, including (in alphabetical order) Al Alburquerque, Joaquin Benoit, Phil Coke and Octavio Dotel.
You may want to throw Drew Smyly in the mix as the darkhorse candidate, and might as well add Brayan Villarreal in there, as well. In short, the Detroit bullpen is going to be a guessing game for the immediate future.
If you're really pressing for a replacement, just close your eyes, pick one, and expect no more than two saves a month. In the long term, you may be better off gambling on a player like Frank Francisco or even Jose Valverde (never count out Scott Boras), as the Tigers may just rotate closers until one of them sticks, or Rondon straightens out in Toledo.
Bruce Rondon optioned to Triple-A
by Nando Di Fino | Senior Fantasy Writer (3/28/2013) CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Danny Knobler reports on Thursday that the Detroit Tigers optioned Bruce Rondon to their Triple-A club in Toledo.
Rondon, 22, had his name thrown around all winter as the team's potential closer by general manager Dave Dombrowski, but he failed to deliver on the promise this spring, with a 5.84 ERA and 2.11 WHIP -- including nine walks -- over 12 1/3 innings.
Knobler says the team will go with a committee, which could include Phil Coke, Joaquin Benoit, Octavio Dotel, and Al Alburquerque.
Bruce Rondon wild against the Phillies
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com (3/27/2013) Tigers reliever Bruce Rondon was wild in his Wednesday apperance against the Phillies, allowing two earned runs on two hits and two walks while only recording two outs. He was pitching on back-to-back days for the first time this spring. Rondon also recorded a strikeout to boost his K total to 19 in 12 1/3 innings of work, but he also has a 5.84 ERA and 2.11 WHIP this spring. The Tigers have yet to announce a bullpen arrangement for the regular season.
Bruce Rondon boosts his chances
by Bill Passonno | CBSSports.com (3/26/2013) Tigers relief pitcher Bruce Rondon completed a pristine inning during a 6-5 loss to Atlanta in a Grapefruit League game Tuesday. Rondon followed starter Shawn Hill in the sixth inning and struck out two, his sixth outing this spring with multiple strikeouts. The showing was also just the second time in 12 appearances he has not allowed a baserunner as the right-hander has struggled to firmly grasp the closer role.
Bruce Rondon suffers spring hiccup
by Jeff Lippman | CBSSports.com (3/23/2013) Tigers closer candidate Bruce Rondon's spring troubles came back on Saturday against the Yankees, reports the Detroit Free Press.
Rondon entered the game in the eighth inning and gave up a single, a two-run homer and a double all off fastballs. He did manage to limit the damage from there.
Rondon allowed two runs on three hits with a strike out and a walk in an inning. His spring ERA is 5.06.
He's given up three runs over his last two innings after having gone five straight scoreless appearances after a shaky start to his spring.
Bruce Rondon allows three singles
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com (3/21/2013) Tigers rookie Bruce Rondon surrendered one earned run on three singles while working the ninth inning against the Astros Thursday. The hits came to consecutive batters after Rondon got Rick Ankiel to fly out to start the ninth, but he settled down to get an inning-ending double play to limit the damage.
Another reliever battling for a look as the team's closer, Joaquin Benoit, pitched a perfect eighth inning, recording one strikeout.
Bruce Rondon throws another hitless inning
by Jack Moore | CBSSports.com (3/18/2013)Bruce Rondon threw scoreless outing Monday against the Nationals, blemished just by a walk. The fireballer also struck out two batters in arguably his best appearance of the spring.
Rondon has now thrown three consecutive hitless innings and hasn't allowed an earned run since March 3 against Atlanta. Rondon's ERA is now down to 3.12 after peaking at 7.36 early in the spring as the 22-year-old competes for the Tigers' closer job.
Rondon mows down the side
by Jeff Lippman | CBSSports.com (3/16/2013) Tigers relief pitcher Bruce Rondon seems to have put his spring struggles behind him as he made another solid appearance on Saturday against the Cardinals. Rondon struck out the side and walked one in his one inning.
Rondon had a tumultuous start to the spring, but he has four straight scoreless innings and has improved his chances of breaking camp on the roster.
Rondon, who has 13 strikeouts in 7 2/3 spring innings, still appears to be a long shot to open the season as the closer.
Bruce Rondon takes 'big step forward'
by Bill Passonno | CBSSports.com (3/15/2013) While his supporters have become a little more scarce as spring training has progressed, Tigers relief pitcher Bruce Rondon continues to draw praise from a key member of the organization: manager Jim Leyland. Rondon has battled inconsistency much of the exhibition season, but fired his first clean inning of the spring Thursday against the Mets.
"I thought [Thursday] was a big step for him," Leyland told MLive.com. "I'm not talking about as far as making the team. I just thought it was a big step forward for him period, whether he makes the team or not. He's made some progress."
Bruce Rondon putting worries behind him
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com (3/14/2013) Tigers relief pitcher Bruce Rondon's performance caused much consternation early in the spring, but he appears to be making significant progress in his battle to be the team's closer. Rondon had arguably his finest appearance yet Thursday in Grapefruit League action against the Mets. Rondon needed just 12 pitches to finish out his lone inning of work, striking out one batter while flashing a very effective slider.
"Today, I thought my slider was the best that it has been all spring," Rondon told MLB.com. "I felt very confident with that pitch, and the catcher gave me the pitch I wanted to throw and it made it even better."
Rondon lowered his ERA to 4.05 in seven spring outings, with 10 strikeouts and five walks in 6 2/3 innings. Rondon is the team's No. 2 prospect according to MLB.com and the No. 95 overall prospect in the league, according to Baseball America, coming off a 1.53 ERA over three minor league levels in 2012.
Rondon still in the mix to close
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com (3/12/2013) MLB.com reports Tigers manager Jim Leyland said Tuesday it's "possible" reliever Bruce Rondon is part of a closer-by-committee approach at the outset of the season. Thats a very good question, and thats a very good answer," Leyland said. Is he in the mix? Yes. This is a real talent. And what its going to boil down to is: Is this talent ready for this level? And I can tell you that decision has not been made. Leyland has been encouraged by Rondon's recent outings after a shaky start to the spring. He was happy to see Rondon touch 101 mph on the radar gun Monday against the Mets. The question to me is: Do you feel comfortable that this kid is ready to go to the big leagues, whether it be as a closer or a guy that could break in and pick your spots? Thats the question, Leyland said, and I dont think that question is going to be answered until right down to the wire.
Rondon building up confidence
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com (3/11/2013) Tigers reliever Bruce Rondon had another successful outing Monday against the Mets following a shaky start to his spring campaign. Rondon, who is trying to lock up the job as the Tigers' closer, allowed two hits and struck out one while pitching a scoreless ninth inning during an 11-0 loss. According to MLive.com, Rondon effectively mixed in his offspeed pitches for the first time this spring. "He threw some more breaking balls," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "That was good to see. He actually threw some good breaking balls. He threw one from behind in the count. That's a good thing." Rondon threw 11 of 17 pitches for strikes. "We want him to use all of his pitches, obviously," pitching coach Jeff Jones said. "It's a good time right now to get a good feel for all of his pitches. Last time out, it was mostly fastballs. Today, he mixed it up and threw a lot better. He had a good outing."
Rondon gets under control
by Bill Passonno | CBSSports.com (3/8/2013) It may have taken longer than the team anticipated, but Tigers pitcher Bruce Rondon finally flashed the strong potential Friday that made him the leading candidate for the vacant closer position. In his first Grapefruit League outing since last Sunday, Rondon attacked the strike zone with a blistering fastball that reached 100 mph and recorded two strikeouts in a scoreless inning of relief against the Mets. He permitted only two singles -- both weakly struck -- and most importantly, did not walk a batter after issuing five free passes in his first four games this spring. "I was just ready to pitch, just to make sure that the mechanics were what the issue was," Rondon told reporters. "I was ready to play."
Rondon's return goes well
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer (3/8/2013) After having his last spring outing skipped so that he could work out some of the kinks in his delivery, Tigers rookie Bruce Rondon pitched a scoreless inning of relief Friday against the Mets. He allowed two hits, but he also recorded two strikeouts, hitting 100 miles per hour with his fastball. It was the first time he didn't issue a walk this spring. "Home crowd, he probably wanted to get that triple digit on the scoreboard," manager Jim Leyland said. "The people behind me oohed and aahed when he hit 100. He did fine."
Tigers losing faith in Rondon?
by Bill Passonno | CBSSports.com (3/5/2013) With hard-throwing rookie pitcher Bruce Rondon struggling to be effective during the early part of spring training, the Tigers could abandon the plan of having him start the season as their closer. However, Detroit manager Jim Leyland remains committed to providing Rondon an opportunity to claim the job despite not having any major-league experience. "Is he certainly a good candidate? Absolutely. Just because he's had a little bit of a rough time, that doesn't mean he's no longer a candidate, because he is," he told MLive.com on Monday. "He's a very good candidate and he's still a very good candidate." Despite Leyland's support, the Tigers could be altering their stance as the team is pushing hard to find a closer on the trade market, sources told CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Danny Knobler on Tuesday. Leyland has said before the team would not consider any internal candidates.
Rondon facing heat from Tigers
by Bill Passonno | CBSSports.com (3/4/2013) Following his latest troubling performance Sunday, Tigers pitcher Bruce Rondon will be skipped from his next scheduled spring outing, the Detroit Free Press reports. Instead, the rookie, considered the team's prospective closer, will work on his mechanics in a bullpen session. He allowed two runs and a walk in an inning of work during the Tigers' Grapefruit League loss to Atlanta on Sunday. "We saw a couple of things on tape that he is doing differently than last year," pitching coach Jeff Jones said Monday. "We talked with him this morning and showed him the tape." Manager Jim Leyland stressed the team is not giving up on the idea of Rondon closing despite having no major-league experience. "Nobody is writing off Rondon," he said. "It's way, way too early for that."
Rondon not closed from issues
by Bill Passonno | CBSSports.com (3/3/2013) Despite another shaky outing from relief pitcher Bruce Rondon on Sunday, the Tigers insisted they do not have a closer issue. "We're not looking to add anyone," general manager Dave Dombrowski told CBSSports.com. Rondon, who has pitched only eight innings above the Double-A level, allowed two runs and two hits, including a home run, during Detroit's Grapefruit League contest against Atlanta. He also issued a walk and has yielded at least one free pass in each of his four spring outings (five total) while sporting an unsightly 7.36 ERA.
by Bill Passonno | CBSSports.com (2/26/2013) Tigers pitcher Bruce Rondon walked two batters and struck out two in a scoreless third inning during Detroit's 9-4 loss to Houston in Grapefruit League action Tuesday. Rondon, the team's chief closer candidate, was removed with two outs after having thrown 22 pitches. He was wild in his second spring appearance, but refused to blame the wet mound and steady drizzle as detrimental factors. "Not really. A little bit, but it's not an excuse," he said. "Sometimes the pitches are just not there, but I still felt fine."
Rondon shows strikeout stuff
by Jeff Lippman | CBSSports.com (2/23/2013) Projected Tigers closer Bruce Rondon pitched the fifth inning to make his Grapefruit League debut on Saturday against Toronto. Rondon struck out two batters over his inning of work, but also walked a batter and surrendered a base hit. He did not surrender a run, however. "There were a few fastballs that I did not see that ended up in my glove -- I don't know how," catcher Alex Avila told MLive.com. "He's got electric stuff. I'm sure he was a little nervous his first time out. He was a little wild, but he really settled down those last two guys. He's so explosive. It was fun to catch. By far, he's probably one of the best arms I've ever seen."
Question marks follow Rondon
by Bill Passonno | CBSSports.com (2/16/2013) Skepticism, excitement -- and most of all, curiosity. That's what the Tigers are feeling about unproven pitcher Bruce Rondon right now. Although, this much is known: the right-hander could be the team's closer on opening day despite never throwing a major-league pitch. Manager Jim Leyland doesn't want Rondon's progress to become a daily issue at spring training, and he's indicated he'll take his time before deciding how ready the reliever is for the majors. "He's been a strikeout guy in the minor leagues. We're in the big leagues now," he said Saturday. "I'm not running away from it, but I'm not going to get into it every day. We've got a guy on our hands with a huge arm -- how it's going to play out, I can't answer that, but that's what we've got."
Closer role not Rondon's to lose
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com (2/15/2013) Tigers manager Jim Leyland told FOXSports.com that the closer spot was not rookie Bruce Rondon's to lose. No, its not like that, Leyland said. Im going to look at all my options, and hopefully Ill make a decision. But I doubt anyone will be anointed the closer out of spring training. It might happen, but I doubt it. Its a front-burner thing that is on the back-burner.
Rondon is top closer candidate
by Nando Di Fino | Senior Fantasy Writer (1/24/2013) Tigers manager Jim Leyland told MLive.com on Wednesday that while 22-year-old Bruce Rondon has not been officially tabbed as the team's closer, he is the leading candidate for the job. "We're going to give him an opportunity," Leyland said. "We'll take a look at him and see what he looks like." Leyland also added that Rondon will have a somewhat long leash early in the season. "Hopefully, he'll save a couple. If he looks real good, save another one. If he looks fragile, we'll use someone else for a day and break him in."