By: Terry Foster
The Tigers don’t have a closer but that is not the end of the world. They simply need to survive the first three to four weeks of the season, figure out who can do the job and move full speed ahead.
When The Bruce Rondon zone moved to Toledo it left the Tigers in a lurch. They don’t have a closer, but there are a lot of options. Opening day is a week away and the Tigers have a big hole they need to close. That is the bad news. Here is the good. They’ve got a number of arms that are able to close.
Maybe this is a short story. Maybe this gets cleared up either by Al Alburquerque, Brayan Villarreal, Drew Smyly, Phil Coke, Joaquin Benoit or Octavio Dotel.
These guys don’t have to be great the entire season. They simply need to be good until Rondon gets his act together. If it doesn’t happen then you’ve got a concern.
This whole closer by committee that General Manager Dave Dombrowski talked about scares me. I do not believe the Tigers will do closer by committee. But how about this for an option. Alburquerque becomes your main closer. And if there is a game where he is tired or you have two or three left handers coming up in the ninth, you go with Phil Coke.
Maybe that is your closer by committee.
Why not just bring up Rondon and let him work things out? No way. This is a ready made team to win a title. Rondon was auditioning to become a Tiger and could not handle the pressure. He posted a 5.84 earned run average and a 2.11 WHIP. That is not a closer. That is a guy who will open the door — for other teams.