The Tigers will open the season with a closer by committee. It just won't include their closer of the future.

Detroit set its pitching staff Thursday morning by optioning hard-throwing prospect Bruce Rondon to Triple-A Toledo, along with long reliever Luis Marte. With that, the seven-man bullpen is set for Opening Day, with lefty Darin Downs and high-strikeout middle relievers Al Alburquerque and Brayan Villarreal joining long reliever Drew Smyly and veterans Phil Coke, Joaquin Benoit and Octavio Dotel.

Team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski, who announced the moves, said manager Jim Leyland will mix and match relievers in the ninth inning according to matchups. He didn't announce the key members in the committee, but Coke, Benoit and Dotel would be most likely to get the bulk of the save opportunities.

"There'll be a guy out there in the ninth to close games," Dombrowski said. "We might not have a guy anointed."

As for Rondon, he'll be the closer for the Mud Hens as he tries to find the consistency that often eluded him this spring.
"We like him a lot," Dombrowski said. "He has thrown the ball very well at times this spring. But we felt he could benefit from more development time."