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Detroit Tigers: Five Potential Backup Closing Candidates

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Mar 2, 2017; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Bruce Rondon (43) throws a pitch during the fourth inning of a MLB spring training baseball gameagainst the Pittsburgh Pirates at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 2, 2017; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Bruce Rondon (43) throws a pitch during the fourth inning of a MLB spring training baseball gameagainst the Pittsburgh Pirates at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /
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Detroit Tigers
Sep 4, 2016; Kansas City, MO, USA; Detroit Tigers pitcher Shane Greene (61) delivers a pitch against the Kansas City Royals during the eighth inning at Kauffman Stadium. Detroit defeated Kansas City 6-5. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports /

Other Candidates

Shane Greene

The former Yankee notched two saves last season, additionally, he kept the ball in the yard with only three home runs allowed.

Given Greene’s ability to miss bats (8.8 strikeouts per nine innings) and induce ground balls, the reliever could find success in the ninth inning.

Justin Wilson

Justin Wilson finished only behind Rondon among Detroit Tigers relievers in terms of strikeouts per nine innings with 9.97 punch outs per nine frames.

Meanwhile, only Rondon and Greene notched higher swinging strike percentages than the southpaw’s 12.5 number.

Wilson’s ability to punch out batters should help him record plenty of outs if he’s called on to pitch in the ninth inning.

In his career, the veteran has made 38 appearances in the ninth inning.

Over that span, he owns a 3.69 ERA while holding opposing hitters to a .214 batting average.

Edward Mujica

A non-roster invitee, Edward Mujica faces plenty of competition to make Detroit’s Opening Day roster.

So far, the former Cardinal has allowed seven hits, six runs, three walks and a home run in four innings.

However, despite the early struggles, the reliever does boast previous closing experience.

During the 2013 campaign with St. Louis, the 32-year-old posted 37 saves.

Next: Dixon Machado's Encouraging Start to Spring Training

Mujica also pitched to a 2.78 ERA in 64.2 innings that season, earning All-Star honors in the process.

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