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Thursday, March 28, 2013

ESPN: Tigers demote Bruce Rondon to AAA, find themselves without a set closer

Oops.

KISSIMMEE, Fla.—The Detroit Tigers will start their AL title defense without a set closer after optioning rookie reliever Bruce Rondon to Triple-A Toledo on Thursday.

“I’ll tell everybody ahead of time, this is going to be tough,” manager Jim Leyland said. “It’l be a second-guesser’s delight, a second-guesser’s heaven.”

Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: March 28, 2013 at 04:29 PM | 39 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: detroit, planning, tigers

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   1. valuearbitrageur Posted: March 28, 2013 at 06:20 PM (#4398728)
Doesn't he realize if there were no second guessers the stands would be near empty?
   2. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: March 28, 2013 at 06:35 PM (#4398735)
OH MY GOD WHAT ARE THEY GOING TO DO WITHOUT A CLOSER????!?!???????!???
   3. Petunia inquires about ponies Posted: March 28, 2013 at 06:54 PM (#4398746)
ABQ and Benoit are both probably better than half the closers in the majors; if Coke gets his H/9 moving back in the right direction he makes a decent LHP half of a closer platoon (as could Smyly, with his repertoire, now that he's been sent to the pen); Dotel ALSO has the Proven Closer glitter. I think they'll be in pretty good shape. One does wonder what Leyland will do with the situation though. I just hope it's not Dotel.
   4. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: March 28, 2013 at 07:43 PM (#4398773)
Wow, the name Bruce Rondon does not conjure an image of a portly Venezuelan fireballer but yet there it is. There are parents in Venezuela who are deciding on Bruce as a name?
   5. McCoy Posted: March 28, 2013 at 07:53 PM (#4398777)
Carlos Marmol is available.
   6. President of the David Eckstein Fan Club Posted: March 28, 2013 at 08:01 PM (#4398782)
Jose Valverde would answer, if called.
   7. Squash Posted: March 28, 2013 at 08:25 PM (#4398797)
It's like an early Christmas gift from the Tigers to the Detroit sportswriting community. Just add water.
   8. Walt Davis Posted: March 28, 2013 at 08:49 PM (#4398804)
Is it also a second-guesser's paradise? A second-guesser's nirvana? What about a second-guesser's walk in the park?

I look forward to Cabrera's 2nd MVP for leading the Tigers to victory despite their lack of a closer!
   9. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 28, 2013 at 09:29 PM (#4398837)
OH MY GOD WHAT ARE THEY GOING TO DO WITHOUT A CLOSER????!?!???????!???


Yeah, it's a mystery why this is even news, from a roster construction standpoint, given the silliness of the Closer obsession.
   10. Cooper Nielson Posted: March 28, 2013 at 10:19 PM (#4398879)
OH MY GOD WHAT ARE THEY GOING TO DO WITHOUT A CLOSER????!?!???????!???

Seriously. Now they are going to have to forfeit every game they are leading after 8 innings.
   11. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 28, 2013 at 10:26 PM (#4398883)
I really hope and established manager like Leyland say "Eff-it" and decides to use Benoit, Coke, Dotel and Albuquerque based on matchups.

It's a good group for it, b/c both Coke and Dotel have pretty big platoon splits.
   12. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: March 28, 2013 at 10:30 PM (#4398886)
The wording of the headline is weird. It seems to imply that Rondon was going to be their set closer but got sent down, which is obviously not the case.
   13. Justin T steals bases with his bat Posted: March 28, 2013 at 10:32 PM (#4398890)
Leyland's approach to this whole thing is just odd. One of his strengths, to me, was that he would stick up for his guys in the press no matter what. He had his issues with Bonds in Pittsburgh, I vaguely recall, but I can't think of a time where he tried motivating anyone by digging at them in the press.

Valverde isn't one of his guys anymore. And here and in other places he has openly ridiculed the remaining pieces of the pen. It's just weird.
   14. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 28, 2013 at 10:39 PM (#4398892)
Leyland's approach to this whole thing is just odd. One of his strengths, to me, was that he would stick up for his guys in the press no matter what. He had his issues with Bonds in Pittsburgh, I vaguely recall, but I can't think of a time where he tried motivating anyone by digging at them in the press.

Valverde isn't one of his guys anymore. And here and in other places he has openly ridiculed the remaining pieces of the pen. It's just weird.


I would guess he's pissed ownership/management didn't open up the checkbook to bring in someone like Rafael Soriano.

He'srunning out of time to win with Detroit, and this team looks very strong in a weak (or at least parity ridden) AL.
   15. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 28, 2013 at 10:40 PM (#4398895)
ESPN current headline: "A-Rod to make more than Astros combined"

What is the point of this headline, other than to stir up further resentment for ARod or for player salaries in general?
   16. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 28, 2013 at 10:47 PM (#4398903)
What is the point of this headline, other than to stir up further resentment for ARod or for player salaries in general?

To mock the Astros?
   17. Knock on any Iorg Posted: March 28, 2013 at 11:20 PM (#4398913)
My memory is foggy on this, but wasn't this the very same Leyland who declared last season that he didn't need no shtinking closer? Didn't he switch to bullpen-by-committee?
   18. The TVerik of Lordly Might Posted: March 29, 2013 at 12:03 AM (#4398925)
When's the last time a team finished first, or in-the-playoffs without a "closer"?

La Russa had that thing where he wouldn't admit that Motte was his guy, but he used him that way. So you'd need to find a good team with nobody over ten saves or so.
   19. JJ1986 Posted: March 29, 2013 at 12:18 AM (#4398926)
When's the last time a team finished first, or in-the-playoffs without a "closer"?


Last year's world champs went with a committee after Wilson went down.
   20. booond Posted: March 29, 2013 at 12:34 AM (#4398929)
Last year's world champs went with a committee after Wilson went down.


Castilla took over in the first half: Romo was the leader in the second half.
   21. SoSH U at work Posted: March 29, 2013 at 12:39 AM (#4398930)
So you'd need to find a good team with nobody over ten saves or so.


I think the 87 Tigers are probably the last playoff team without a 10-save guy. There aren't many crappy teams anymore that don't have someone racking up 10 saves.

   22. Ray (RDP) Posted: March 29, 2013 at 12:59 AM (#4398934)
When's the last time a team finished first, or in-the-playoffs without a "closer"?



I don't know, but since the vast vast majority of teams have a closer, there's not many closer-less teams to begin with. It's like asking "When is the last time a team with a four-man rotation made the playoffs?" and using that as proof that the four-man rotation won't work. (Not that that's what you were doing; I'm just making the point.)
   23. Barnaby Jones Posted: March 29, 2013 at 01:11 AM (#4398935)
I think the 87 Tigers are probably the last playoff team without a 10-save guy. There aren't many crappy teams anymore that don't have someone racking up 10 saves.


Alejandro Pena ended up with 15 saves for the 1992 Braves, but there was a definite "committee" situation going on. Mercker, Stanton, Wohlers, Reardon, and Armando Reynoso all call the save opportunities in the last month of the season.
   24. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 29, 2013 at 07:56 AM (#4398964)
When's the last time a team finished first, or in-the-playoffs without a "closer"?


The Pirates did it under Leyland, so there's some precedent there for him.
   25. Long Time Listener, First Time Caller Posted: March 29, 2013 at 09:22 AM (#4398991)
"When's the last time a team finished first without a closer" Isn't really a relevant question because every team is going to have someone emerge as a relief ace in some fashion. The hand-wringing here is because the Tigers don't have anyone right now who is guaranteed to be an ace "closer." The "closer-hater" in me would point out that there are plenty of good teams who have had closers emerge out of the ether mid-season or later who have done just fine in the playoffs. My beloved 05 White Sox being a prime example. They finished pretty well iirc using a guy Kenny Williams pulled off the waiver wire because he was a fat, drunk loser in Anaheim's system
   26. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: March 29, 2013 at 09:34 AM (#4399003)
The Tigers don't have an anointed "closer" right now. They also feature several very good relievers and by June 1st one of them is going to have seized the role (could even be Rondon). It's probably going to lead to some early season frustration but someone out there is going to be a perfectly good closer.

Just looking at the WS winners in this century many of them didn't open the season with their closer in place;

2001 D-Backs (Mantei/Kim)
2003 Marlins (Looper/Urbina)
2006 Cardinals (Isringhausen/Motte)
2007 Red Sox (Pineiro/Papelbon) * - change made right before the season started, not entirely applicable here
2011 Cardinals (Salas?/Motte)
2012 Giants (Wilson/Romo)

The fact is these are very very good teams all and 6 of the 12 have made a closer change in-season. The Tigers don't need to know who their closer is today, they just need to have good relievers and it will sort itself out.
   27. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 29, 2013 at 09:37 AM (#4399005)
The Pirates did it under Leyland, so there's some precedent there for him.


Now that I'm not trying to post from my phone...

In 1990, the Pirates won the division, and Bill Landrum led the team in saves, with 13. Stan Belinda had eight, Ted Power had seven, Bob Patterson had five, and five other guys had at least one. That's about as pure a "committee" situation as you'll find.
   28. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 29, 2013 at 09:40 AM (#4399010)
They also feature several very good relievers and by June 1st one of them is going to have seized the role

God, I hate bullpen "roles". Your "role" is to get batters out. Lineup spot "roles" are only slightly less annoying.
   29. Tom Nawrocki Posted: March 29, 2013 at 09:41 AM (#4399011)
2007 Red Sox (Pineiro/Papelbon) * - change made right before the season started, not entirely applicable here


Their World Series opponents, the Rockies, also switched during the season from Brian Fuentes to the rookie Manny Corpas.
   30. zonk Posted: March 29, 2013 at 09:47 AM (#4399019)
Carlos Marmol is available.


You'd think so, but last I heard -- he was still trying to get that first out in his outing the other day... so he's busy.
   31. JJ1986 Posted: March 29, 2013 at 09:48 AM (#4399020)
2011 Cardinals (Salas?/Motte)


From looking at the game log: started as Ryan Franklin, switched to Boggs after three weeks, switched to a Salas/Sanchez committee after one blown save, Sanchez either gets injured or optioned, then finally to Motte in late August.
   32. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 29, 2013 at 09:55 AM (#4399024)
Now that BRef and FG have reached their historic accord, we need a grand baseball compromise.

Ban the save statistic, artificial turf, the DH, and weekend and holiday night games, don't let the hitters leave the batter's box, and put the pitchers on a strict time limit.
   33. Nasty Nate Posted: March 29, 2013 at 10:20 AM (#4399045)
Didn't he switch to bullpen-by-committee?


Every single team uses a bullpen-by-committee every year.
   34. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 29, 2013 at 10:27 AM (#4399052)
Ban the save statistic, artificial turf, the DH, and weekend and holiday night games, don't let the hitters leave the batter's box, and put the pitchers on a strict time limit.


I agree with nearly all of this, though I'd be OK with weekend or holiday night games as part of a day-night doubleheader.
   35. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 29, 2013 at 10:29 AM (#4399053)
I agree with nearly all of this, though I'd be OK with weekend or holiday night games as part of a day-night doubleheader.

I can live with that.

Edit: Oh, and also ban in stadium music except for "The Star Spangled Banner" and "Take Me out to the Ballgame" (I'll grandfather in organs), and signs that tell us when to cheer.
   36. SoSH U at work Posted: March 29, 2013 at 10:33 AM (#4399057)
What are you going to do with the stadia in Tampa and Toronto?

Honestly, I was never a fan of turf until it was disappearing. Now I appreciate the variety it brings to the game.

   37. Sweatpants Posted: March 29, 2013 at 10:47 AM (#4399077)
In 1990, the Pirates won the division, and Bill Landrum led the team in saves, with 13. Stan Belinda had eight, Ted Power had seven, Bob Patterson had five, and five other guys had at least one. That's about as pure a "committee" situation as you'll find.
The most saves any Pirate had from 1990-92 was 18 by Stan Belinda in 1992. He didn't have even half of the club's saves.
   38. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 29, 2013 at 10:51 AM (#4399080)
What are you going to do with the stadia in Tampa and Toronto?

Well, Toronto is retractable, right? They can grow grass like they do in Safeco and Miller.

And Tampa is overdue to be replaced. They can be grandfathered until the new stadium.
   39. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: March 29, 2013 at 05:47 PM (#4399349)
If the Tigers don't win roughly 47 of their first 20 games, everyone will scream ZOMG THEY AIN'T GOT NO CLOSER TIGERS SUXORZZZ!!!!!!eleven!!!!!

What are you going to do with the stadia in Tampa and Toronto?

That's easy.

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