Tigers have big plans for Bruce Rondon

Updated: February 16, 2013, 10:38 AM ET
By Buster Olney

LAKELAND, Fla. -- For some of the Detroit Tigers, Bruce Rondon is still more rumor than fact. They've heard about how he throws lightning bolts, a fastball that reaches triple digits, and how he's capable of embarrassing hitters, but they haven't actually seen him on a mound.

"I'm looking forward to it," said Max Scherzer, standing on one of the back fields at the Tigers' facility in Lakeland, and you can understand why, because there is a good chance Rondon will have the responsibility of closing out leads for the Tigers this year despite the fact that he has never thrown a pitch in the big leagues.

Detroit might have the majors' best rotation, as well as a very good lineup; Victor Martinez is bouncing around camp, others say, anxious to be the guy who hits behind Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder. Torii Hunter is here now, cheerily going about his business, which is his way. This is a team otherwise built to win the World Series -- and the job of getting the last outs might go to a pure rookie.