This story probably carries the most weight of the spring. First off, we'd be interested in Bruce Rondon anyway. He's a 22-year-old kid who throws fire and quickly rose through the Tigers' minor-league ranks as a closer. He even made an eye-catching appearance in the Futures Game. We'd be interested in him if he was in the running for seventh inning action. But no. He's dubbed by some as the front-runner for the bullpen's closer role.
We'd be pretty darn interested in a closer competition by itself too. Now you combine a rookie with little experience above Double A with the closer role of a team that is tabbed to go to the World Series, and you've got Las Vegas lights flashing above the story.
Leyland doesn't care about the age thing. He's been there before. He just likes talent. And Rondon has the talent. But does he have the makeup? We shall see.
The tough part is figuring out if the Tigers made a mistake or not by talking him up so much this offseason. He could have "won" the closer role with a good spring without so much emphasis being placed on him. Now, if he fails to earn the spot, he'll be seen as "losing" the role instead. But maybe the entire episode was conceived as a test to see if he's ready..
Tigers: Can Bruce Rondon close?
Bless You Boys | Feb 14