Is Bruce Rondon their closer or is he not their closer?

At one point at TigerFest on Saturday, manager Jim Leyland said, "I don't know what I'm going to do."

The bottom line is the Tigers are choosing their words carefully when describing the rookie Rondon.

Throughout their annual caravan, for instance, they didn't anoint him as their closer. They merely called him the leading candidate.

At least that's how Tigers president and general manager Dave Dombrowski described Rondon during an interview.

Meanwhile, Leyland again labeled the situation as "sensitive."

The Tigers aren't backing off on their confidence in Rondon. But at the same time, they've not publicly plunged into a commitment to him.

"I understand people having questions when a player isn't established," said Dombrowski. "But if you only go with established players, you'll never have a young player break in with your team. I think he can handle it, Will he? Only time will tell, but I think he'll do a fine job.

"We do have some others who can do the job if he needs a break, but to me, the leading candidate is Rondon."

Leyland was more reserved, but no less hopeful, with his comments.

"That's why I like these sessions," Leyland told an audience at TigerFest. "I actually get to know you a little bit, and you get to know me.

"So about this closer situation: I don't really know what I'm going to do."

Both Leyland and Dombrowski acknowledged the Tigers have alternatives.

"This is what I truly believe in my heart," Leyland said. "Phil Coke can save you a game, maybe even two games. Whether he would hold up physically and mentally trying to save games every day, I'm not sure.