He'll correct it every time.

And so far, he has.

Whenever Jim Leyland believes the cart is being put before the horse this spring — which usually coincides with someone referring to Bruce Rondon as the closer — the Tigers manager sets the record straight.

"I don't know who you are talking about," Leyland said on a rainy Tuesday before the Astros beat the Tigers, 9-4. "I don't have a closer."

Making his second appearance, Rondon walked two and struck out two in 2/3 of an inning. He was removed before completing a full inning because another batter would have required him to exceed his desired pitch count.

He ended up throwing 22 pitches, but only nine strikes.

The best pitch Rondon threw was a dandy, though: A full-count change-up that struck out Carlos Pena.

"He was a little wild," Leyland said. "But I liked that pitch to Pena."

At this point, perhaps even more than the results of his pitches, it's important to monitor the confidence with which Rondon throws them, especially his change and slider.

Along those lines, Leyland liked the confidence Rondon displayed throwing a strikeout change to Pena even more than the strikeout itself.

"I would say that's more the case," Leyland said.

But the situation harkened back to what Ray Burris said last weekend about Rondon while the Tigers were playing the Phillies, for whom Burris is the Triple A pitching coach.

"For a big guy, he has good command of his slider and change," said Burris, who was Rondon's pitching coach at Double A Erie last season. "When someone throws that hard, usually he throws just one pitch. But he uses all three."



From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130226/SPORTS0104/302260443#ixzz2M7ARIpxs