The Detroit Tigers are really, really good. I honestly don’t think there will be a whole lot of competition that the Tigers will have to deal with in the pathetic American League Central, especially with a healthy Victor Martinez hitting behind Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder. Hitting aside, they also have one of the best starting rotations in all of baseball, with Justin Verlander leading the way. If there is one glaring weakness – sans defense – that Detroit has, it’s their bullpen. Outside of Brian Wilson, all of the closers have signed elsewhere, leaving Detroit no real options in free agency. However, Detroit fans have no reason to panic, because Bruce Rondon is about to take the game by storm.
Rondon created quite the buzz at the MLB Future’s Games by throwing some stinky cheddar. Rondon not only reached 100 MPH on four pitchers, but those four pitches averaged over 102 MPH. A lot of naysayers are claiming Rondon will fail because that’s the only pitch he throws. While true, it doesn’t mean squat as a relief pitcher. Sure, if he was a starting pitcher, it would mean a whole heck of a lot, but all a reliever needs to do is get three outs.
Rondon is definitely capable of being a quality closer for the Tigers, and it will cost them the league minimum. I will never understand why teams continue to give closers multi-million dollar deals. There’s definitely no need for the Tigers to panic and trade or sign a veteran close; Rondon’s 102+ MPH fastball will be more than sufficient.
The only negative that comes from this decision is that Rondon will make a boatload during his arbitration years, which is what Billy Beane always had to deal with all his young, talented closers before shipping them off. But Detroit doesn’t need to worry about all that nonsense right now.
Detroit is going to win the American League Central again, and Bruce Rondon will definitely be one of the many reasons why they do.