Detroit Tigers closer Jose Valverde designated for assignment

  • David Whitlock
Jose Valverde may finally be done in Detroit. Credit: Paul Sancya/AP

Jose Valverde may finally be done in Detroit.
Credit: Paul Sancya/AP

After several votes of confidence from manager Jim Leyland, the Detroit Tigers have designed Jose Valverde for assignment, ending his tenure as closer, according to John Lowe of USA Today and the Detroit Free-Press.  Another team can claim the veteran right hander, otherwise the 3-time All Star can accept a minor league assignment or become a free agent.

Jose Valverde has been on thin ice with the ballclub and fans since an abysmal post-season last year, allowing 9 earned runs in 2 2/3 innings over the three series.

It appears Joaquin Benoit will get the first shot at the closers job.  The Tigers had slotted right hand Venezuelan prospect Bruce Rondon for the job in spring training, but he failed to win it, putting the defending American League champions in a situation that they brought Valverde back just after the season started.  Rondon is 1-1 with 14 saves and a 1.01 ERA in AAA Toledo, begging the question of whether now is the time to settle him into the role with the big league club?

The Tigers can also explore a trade, as this is about the time of year in which teams in the second half of the standings are willing to part with a closer.  This year, there aren’t a lot of strong name out there that fit the category, all the more reason to promote from within in my opinion.  If I were Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski, I’d make finding a closer my #1 job between now and October, winning in the postseason depends on it.

– David Whitlock (@lhd_on_sports)

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David Whitlock

David Whitlock - manager

David (a.k.a. Longhorndave or lhd_on_sports) joined the staff late in the 2012 season and moved to Site Manager in early 2013. A lifelong Houston Astros fan (and mini-season ticket holder for 9 years) he attends 20+ games per year. A statistics freak, David still keeps score the "old fashioned way" on occasion (and has kept manual score of World Series games since 1986 and retains the sheets). He was a featured guest weekly on the Phil Naessens Show. He is also a Texas Longhorns alumnus and huge football and baseball fan of his alma mater. When he isn't watching or writing about baseball, he works as a contractor at NASA Johnson Space Center. He lives by the mantra "a bad day at the ballpark is better than a good day anywhere else."

One Response to Detroit Tigers closer Jose Valverde designated for assignment

  • THANK CHRIST! HE LOST THE WORLD SERIES LAST YR! I WISH HIM WELL, BUT WILL NEVER 4 GIVE HIM FOR SCREWING UP WITH THAT FUNKY DELIVERY HE CHANGED TOO ….WHICH WAS TOTALY OFF THE CHARTS !!

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