Lakeland, FL – The Detroit Tigers optioned pitcher Bruce Rondon to Triple-A Toledo and will apparently start the season with no defined closer.
Rondon, a hard-throwing righty, appeared in 13 games this spring and allowed eight runs on 17 hits over 12 1/3 innings with 19 strikeouts and nine walks. The 22-year-old native of Venezuela has never pitched in the majors during the regular season.
The Tigers also sent pitcher Luis Marte to Toledo, basically setting their bullpen for the start of the campaign.
Octavio Dotel has closer's experience and Phil Coke also can finish games, giving manager Jim Leyland a righty-lefty combination depending on matchups, while Joaquin Benoit could also be in the mix.
Other members of the bullpen to start the season will be lefty Drew Smyly, who lost out on the fifth starter's role to Rick Porcello, as well as Darin Downs, Al Alburquerque and Brayan Villarreal.