The Detroit Tigers today optioned relief pitchers Bruce Rondon and Luis Marte to Triple-A Toledo, paring their roster to 26 players. Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski said the team will go with a closer by committee to start the season. The committee could include Octavio Dotel, Al Alburquerque, Joaquin Benoit and Phil Coke, who closed games for the Tigers in the postseason last year. Rondon followed up what was arguably his best performance of the spring Tuesday with arguably his worst Wednesday. Pitching on consecutive days is something any closer in the majors will be asked to do, and Rondon was doing it for the first time this spring. After a 1-2-3 outing with two strikeouts the day before, Rondon gave up two singles, two walks, a balk and two runs in two-thirds of an inning in a 4-1 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland. Expectations had been building about Rondon, who throws more than 100 m.p.h., ever since Dombrowski called him “a rare talent” in the off-season and mentioned that he could be the team’s closer this season, despite never having pitched in the major leagues.
Tigers send down closer candidate Bruce Rondon
Detroit Free Press | Mar 28