In a fairly typical move when dealing with young players in spring training, Detroit Tigers’ skipper Jim Leyland has decided that potential 22-year-old closer Bruce Rondon will not pitch in as many exhibition games this week so that he can work on his control issues.
It’s typical for any 22-year-old to have control issues with their substances, their vomiting or their proclivity for picking fights with taxi drives in a Patrick Kane-ian fashion. Society gets it—you’re twenty-two and it’s legal for you to do your best booze-infused David Hasselhoff impersonation in public now that side of yourself is no longer confined to your dumb little buddies’ basement when his parents are gone.
Now, akin to the average 22-year-old, it’s likely just going to take time for Rondon to get his control issues worked out. Rondon has had flashes of brilliance in spring training, but at other times he’s given up walks. Walks, the kryptonite of closing pitchers, will quickly raise a pitch count and they exacerbate the effect of any hits given up. When you walk batters, deep singles end up knocking runs in, doubles turn into two-run doubles and solo home runs become three-run, game-tying, Father’s Day-ruining home runs.
Patience is a virtue. Rome wasn’t built in a day. You have to bake the Bagel Bites in the toaster oven for at least 12 minutes if you don’t want them to taste like warm trash. Anyway you slice it, Rondon is going to take some time to develop—he may be worth it down the road, but let’s let this 22-year-old mature a bit before we put a ninth-inning lead in a meaningful game into his hand.
Justin Gawel is a Waffle Crisp enthusiast who mainly writes for Rant Sports about the Detroit Tigers. Follow him on Google+ for all of his article postings.