Rondon’s Struggles Continue For Tigers, Valverde And Wilson Rumors Emerge
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By Matthew Lafave (Tigers Correspondent) Follow @MatthewLafave
Panic in Motown?
Not quite yet.
But the Tigers ‘chosen’ Closer isn’t making things easy.
Bruce Rondon, 22-Years-Old, is expected to be the closer for this coming season and hopefully many more to follow. Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski and manager Jim Leyland have both made it known that it’s his job to lose this spring.
Losing it is just the path he is on. Through 4.2 IP, he has given up 7 Hits, 3 ER, 1 HR, and yielded 5 Walks..It’s early we know, but at what point does early become too late?
If he happens to pitch himself out of the Closer spot then who will be our fearless Closer?
Bruce Rondon hits 103 MPH!
We could very well see what we saw during the Post Season last year.
Tonight’s closer is “________”. ( Phil Coke, or maybe Flame – Thrower Al Alburquerue?? others??? , )
The Closer by committee, thanks largely to Phil Coke, was mostly successful for the Tigers down the stretch. Some say it gives you an edge against your opponent, letting the hitters wonder who they’ll see in the 9th Inning isn’t all that bad.
Leyland has been known to love the numbers game but loves a certified Closer for the game more.
An option that many refuse to hear is Jose Valverde, still unsigned as of this morning. His struggles towards the end of the 2012 campaign are not easily forgotten. Allowing 9 Earned Runs on 11 Hits in the Post Season doesn’t exactly help your cause and make you a fan favorite.
But his success isn’t lost either. He was 49 for 49 in Save Attempts in 2011 and even finished 5th in the Cy Young voting.
To say he’s not capable is foolish. But the bigger question is what price will it cost to bring him back? The $9 Million he earned in 2012 is foolish.
At the right price he does provide a little security in the bullpen, he does after all look like a bouncer at a club.
Top 10 Active Saves Leaders (More like top 8 since Fuentes and Isringhausen are retired and K-Rod doesn’t have a team yet but should sign.)
|Rank||Player (yrs, age)||Saves||Throws|
|1.||Mariano Rivera (18, 42)||608||R|
|3.||Joe Nathan (12, 37)||298||R|
|4.||Francisco Rodriguez (11, 30)||294||R|
|5.||Jose Valverde (10, 34)||277||R|
|6.||Jonathan Papelbon (8, 31)||257||R|
|8.||Huston Street (8, 28)||201||R|
|9.||J.J. Putz (10, 35)||183||R|
|10.||Brian Wilson (7, 30)||171||R|
This could be the biggest bust by the Tigers or one of the greatest signings. The risk is great but no one would be surprised to see him sign here.
Regardless of what you think about him, he is capable of rejuvenating his career. His composure towards end of season games and Post Season is remarkable. Something Tigers fans should envy.
In the 2010 Post Season, Wilson was 1-0 – with a 0.00 ERA, 4 Walks, and 16 Strikeouts.
The question that comes into play again is price. He made $8.5 Million in his injury full campaign last year.
Soria went to the Rangers in a back loaded 2-Year Deal for $8 Million. Madson to the Angels for 1-Year/$3.25 Million, but loaded with incentive payouts which could total $6.75 Million.
But if you’re the Detroit Tigers, you are sitting there with arguably the best starting rotation in baseball, the best lineup in the majors, and leaving the end of your games in the hands of a 22-Year-Old rookie.
So would you pay $6 Million for a little insurance at the Closer spot?
Heck, I’d pay $10 Million.
*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com and their partners***
A big thank-you goes out to Our ‘Tigers Correspondent’ Matthew LaFave for preparing today’s featured article. Matthew was born and raised outside of Detroit, Michigan. Growing up watching all of the Detroit sports with his father he began to enjoy writing about them in high school. At first started out as e-mails between his father turned into a Detroit Lions blog website titled ‘Hear Me Roar’. Matthew would go on to get a job as ‘Detroit Tigers Writer’ at the website http://www.examiner.com. He has been writing for them for over two seasons and regularly attends games as a credentialed media member. Be sure to follow him on Twitter Follow @MatthewLafave
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Posted on March 9, 2013, in The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged 2010 Post Season, 2012 Post season, active top 10 Saves Leaders, al alburquerque, al central, American league, anaheim angels, brian fuentes, brian wilson, bruce rondon, dave dombrowski, detroit spring training, detroit tigers, examiner.com, huston street, jason isringhausen, Jim Leyland, jj putz, joakim soria, jose valverde, mariano rivera, matthew lafave, mlb, ryan madson, san francisco giants, texas rangers, tommy john, Tommy John Surgery. Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Rondon’s Struggles Continue For Tigers, Valverde And Wilson Rumors Emerge.