LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) -- Skepticism, excitement -- and most of all, curiosity.
That's what the Detroit Tigers are feeling about Bruce Rondon right now. The 6-foot-3, 275-pound right-hander from Venezuela could be the team's closer on opening day, but he's never thrown a major league pitch. Now, the defending American League champions are giving him a chance to play a crucial role in their bullpen.
Detroit let Jose Valverde go after last season, and instead of acquiring a veteran closer, the Tigers let the job remain vacant. The reason for that was Rondon, who turned 22 in December and was chosen Detroit's minor league pitcher of the year in 2012.