Bruce Rondon is back with the Tigers, but without the speculation of how he’s going to be used. The Tigers put that to rest on Friday as soon as he arrived. “He’s not going to close,” manager Jim Leyland said. Not even when Joaquin Benoit isn’t available? Leyland wasn’t as definitive about that. All Leyland said, while cutting short the question about it, was “I’m not going there.” So what are the plans for Rondon, who was closing at Toledo, and doing it successfully? In 30 appearances this season for the Mud Hens, he was 1-1 with 14 saves and a 1.52 ERA. In 292⁄3 innings, he struck out 40. “Probably the sixth, seventh inning maybe,” said Leyland. “Maybe the eighth, sometimes, depending on who is available. “He is not being brought back a closer, which he’s aware of.” The follow-up question — rather, the attempt at a follow-up — was this: “On days that (Joaquin) Benoit isn’t available, could he. . .?” “I don’t know about that,” said Leyland, not wanting to go down that road. “I’m not going there. He’s not being brought back as a closer. Period. “But he was pitching very well for us down there. That’s why we brought him back to pitch the sixth or seventh. Maybe the eighth, once in a while.” Rondon won’t be a long-haul relief pitcher, though. He’ll pitch either the sixth or seventh, not the sixth and seventh.
Tigers call up reliever Bruce Rondon, but he won't close
Detroit News | Jun 29