Thursday, March 28, 2013

On Bruce Rondon being sent to Triple-A and Detroit Tigers closer situation

Baseball clubs fall into two categories. Ones perpetually rebuilding, others expecting to win.
The Tigers fit into the latter department.
I think they have the best club in baseball myself, well, except they don't have a closer. It's like entering the fastest car in the Daytona 500, except for missing a gear.
The Tigers threw all their eggs in Bruce Rondon's basket. He is not remotely ready for the major leagues. So the Tigers are forced to Plan B. Oh, there is no Plan B.
Jim Leyland: Won't be handing the ball to Bruce Rondon
The Tigers have added chance to their season. Bullpen by committee might work, but odds are just as good it won't. Somebody might emerge from their current roster. Chances are more likely, however, none of their current pitchers will. The Tigers have a decent bullpen otherwise, but down the line, the closer role is out of the comfort zone for their current relievers.
Everybody knows the Tigers' plight. The price just went up for legitimate potential closing candidates, if their are any available, which is questionable. Once the season starts, it's highly unlikely the Tigers will be able to make significant trades for a couple months. Everybody likes their team right now. All think they can be like the 2012 Oakland A's. It takes awhile for sellers to understand their fate.
Yes, the Tigers are far superior to their opposition in the American League Central, but a season can get away quickly because of closer issues. For proof, look at the 2008 Tigers. For more recent evidence, check out what transpired for the 2012 Boston Red Sox early last year after projected closer Andrew Bailey was injured.
The Tigers might be fine. You never know. Hey, they got to the World Series with Phil Coke closing when months before he couldn't seem to get any hitters out, regardless the situation. One of manager Jim Leyland's strengths is handling his bullpen. This will take all his skills, but could be like asking Leyland to split the fish and divide the loaves.
It's knocking on wood, crossing your fingers, hoping you roll a seven and a 11. Given the strength of the Tigers' roster otherwise, it's as perplexing as it is inexcusable they find themselves in this spot with the opening of the season mere days away.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Troublesome, indeed!! Leyland must now pull the proverbial rabbit out of the hat. However, there's no rabbit in there.

It's head scratching how the GM got into this position.

10:35 AM 
Blogger Barry said...

Pat, I think closer by committee should be okay come May/June but JL might have his work cut out in April. Both Dotel and Benoit have a history of starting slow. BV and AA have both been on the DL recently. Coke is only now got his fastball up to 92/93 range according JP on the radio. He's a 95 guy. That could be trouble too. I would not be surprise if Downs or Smyly have to bail them out. I am glad Rondon is at AAA to develop the amazing potential. I would not trade Nick or Rick for a closer or sign the potato chip fellow.

3:01 PM 
Anonymous Michael C said...

Blaming the 2008 Tigers on not having a closer is ridiculous. That team's pitching as a whole was awful, including starting pitching and practically EVERY member of the bullpen. Nowhere near playoff caliber.

The 2013 Tigers meanwhile have one of the best rotations in the business, and a deep bullpen too. Not having a "proven closer" is not going to sink this ship that badly. The 2012 Giants didn't have a "proven closer" in 2012 either, and they ended up doing pretty good.

1:47 AM 

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