There is little intrigue in Detroit Tigers camp in the form of position battles. The everyday lineup is set and Drew Smyly and Rick Porcello are familiar options for the final spot in the starting rotation. The only interesting unknown is at closer where Bruce Rondon is the presumed front-runner.
Tigers fans haven’t had many opportunities to see Rondon pitch before today’s game. Even those that regularly attend minor league games probably had a hard time lining up a chance to see Rondon considering the meteoric rise through the system Rondon has made over the last couple years.
Rondon made his 2013 spring training debut today, with video available through mlb.tv, and pitched a scoreless fifth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays.
It wasn’t a perfect inning, Rondon issued a walk to Brett Lawrie and gave up a double to Adam Lind, but he settled down to end the threat by striking out J.P. Arencibia and Josh Thole.
There were likely some nerves but all in all Rondon showed up as billed. He threw hard and worked both sides of the plate and when he missed, it was generally down in the zone.
A few more outings like this and there is little doubt that Rondon will open the regular season as the Tigers’ closer.