Low risk, high reward. Dotel and Villarreal have been ineffective so why not see what Rondon and Valverde have. Bullpen is still a weakness that will likely need a trade to solidify but there's plenty of time to see what the in-house options bring to the table.
OT: Jose Valverde regains closer role with Tigers
It's early in the season. They've played 18 games. Give it a shot. The guy was your closer on an ALCS and World Series team who flamed out late last year. Closers are head case guys anyway. He's shown over long periods of time that he could master the head case situation. Name a team that doesn't have Rivera that doesn't worry about its closer.
I think you get the point. Even look at Texas with Joe Nathan. Had an amazing year, but they're worroed about him.
Kenley Jansen had a remarkable year last year and the Dodgers went out and replaced him.
There are very few sure-fire closers.
Jansen was the closer last season even after the Dodgers acquired League, then in late August Kenley's heart condition reared its ugly head and they went with League and appear to be staying that course. I think it has more to do with them liking Jansen's stuff in the eighth inning than being enamored with League in the ninth.
I'd throw Aroldis into the mix as "surefire" -- ditto Jim Johnson, Papelbon, and Soriano (has always been fantastic when given the chance to be the closer).
Anyway, I hate Valverde's "look-at-me-I-need-attention-to-feed-my-stupid-ego" antics, but if he pitches in the ninth and the Tigers don't lose, that's all I care about.
Me too. Doesn't he have six figures on one hand?
I don't know if it aided him or not though. Saw him pitch years ago in DC and it is noticeable if you know what you're looking for. My buddy did not. When I pointed it out to him, he almost lost it.
Pretty much agree with WMUgoblue.
I cannot explain what happened to Valverde last year, but by all accounts, he is in better shape mentally and physically. I think the organization wanted this all along, but needed this year's bullpen to struggle to avoid much fan backlash. Though I am sure there will still be some. It will be interesting to watch, at the very least.
on the big stage is what happened. I could see it on his face the next night warming up in the bullpen that he had not shaken it off and was going to get rocked again. Truthfully, Leyland should not have pitched him that day. He will be as reasonably effective as he has always been, and now Tiger fans will realize that reliable closers aren't just growing on trees these days and perhaps to be thankful for a guy who gets it done most of the time. I think the Tigs were going to bring him back the whole time except at a discount and with a little more humility. A think a little less dancing is order for Papa with his revised understanding of how quickly he can get rocked. He should be fine though.
Just about any ML RP gets it done most of the time.
The difference between an average closer and Mariano Rivera is 1-2 wins a year, the only difference is Rivera will give you less heart attacks.
And just about any mediocre RP would be an effective closer.
Basically, a closer is one of the easiest positions to fill, equally as easy as filling in any of the other bullpen positions, and might as well grow on the trees.
I'd rather they give Valverde another shot than overpay for a mediocre closer. I can't figure out why people consistently bring up Street like he is a good option. His save percentage isn't great for his career.
Because save percentage isn't the same as saves.
Closers on bad teams still tend to get around 30 saves a year. Bad teams have a lot less blowout wins so when they DO win they very often give their closers a save chance.
The big question that still kinda nags me: Why didn't a single team take a look at him? There are plenty of teams with worse bullpens than Detroit's. Maybe they didn't want to invest time and money into what they viewed as a project likely to fail?
I think the Marlins had interest at one point during the winter, I'm assuming Boras wanted more than they were willing to pay, then they moved on (as did the Tigers at the time) and he didn't have any other options.
the tigers are. One inning of single A ball and they run him up? Are you kidding me? Smokey and DD just could not help themselves. How many games does Papa Gascan blow before they finally move on? I'm guessing at least 5. What a joke.
We're 18 games into a fucking 162 game season. This is better than tinkering 18 games from October. Step back from the ledge.
When I first found out Valverde was back in the organization, I flipped my shit. However, after a few weeks of watching this bullpen trip over itself, and on many occasions lose games singlehandedly, I actually am a little happy to see Papa Grande back in the closer role. I kinda just threw up in my mouth a little bit saying that last part, but it's unfortunately true. Welcome back Valverde, don't screw up this second chance.
It can't be any worse than what they have? Hopefully in the offseason he met with some sports shrinks and got his head straight.
Can't hurt. Sure, he sucked in the playoffs, but why not give him a chance or two? Reports are his velocity is back and so is the movement on his pitches so maybe he'll be another cheap option
Can he hit with runners in scoring position? Yes!? Sign him up
After the World Series I said at least we won't have to see Valverde in a Tigers Uniform again. Fate tempted.
Papa Grande is my wife's favorite Tiger for this reason alone. All last season, whenever I was watching a game, she made a point of asking me to let her know when "the judo chop guy" was playing.
where you said you weren't going to link the freep article
Instead of '12 version, they got a steal because of low price. Valverde played on an all-star level on '11 season and should really bolster the bullpen, allowing other RP to pitch in their roles like Coke is a lefty specialist for example.
can't throw the split-finger fastball and can't control a slider or a curve, is gonna be the closer?
Well, my work prediction of AL champs and winners of 98 games just went out the window. Unless this has-been/never was regains all the pitches he had in 2011, this is going to be a long season.
Verlander might end up regretting his new contract.
has the 2nd best save % in the major leagues since 2006.
2nd to only mariano rivera.
so he had a rough playoffs last year, would we have been to the playoffs without his solid year closing games? (only blowing 5 saves)
O his ability to throw his sinker. He lost the feel for it last year and was basically a one pitch pitcher. And that one pitch was a 93 mph fastball with poor location, not a Mariano Rivera cutter. If he has a sinker this could be good, if he doesn't I smell a tire fire.
Said sinker, meant splitter!
For those of you who dislike Valverde, you have to respect a man who was embarrassed and booed to no end by his team's fans. It takes a hell of a man to come back to that situation willingly.
Or the opportunity to earn millions of dollars and your pride back
I'm willing to give him another chance.
The one thing that I don't like about Valverde is that a runner could start to steal second when Valverde starts his windup and he would already be at second by the time the catcher got the ball
...Don't get me wrong... He really did do well in Detroit as far as results are concerned, even though he did turn me into a slight basketcase with his release and loading the bases before pulling through with a save and a win for the good guys. I am thankful for all papa grande has done for the tigers and hopeful for what he is going to still do in Detroit. Go tigers
...Valverde doesn't pitch from a windup; he always pitches from the stretch.
If your point is that Valverde gives up lots of SBs due to a slow delivery, you may be correct if talking about 2012. However, he was harder to steal on in the prior three seasons (link).
Yes I meant from his delivery, sorry for the poor word choice,
I can't watch Grande on the mound. I'd rather see Denard up there.
Go watch a Yankees game then. They are always looking for fans like you.
a team can win a national title with tshirt camouflage jerseys, we can win a World Series with valverde.
Maybe we should just change his nick name to "Big Daddy" and pretend last year never happened.
I don't know why he doesn't get a chance. He's got the best stuff in that bullpen, and he's been quite effective in late-game situations. Not a Tigers fan, but is want him over Valverde.
He can't pitch back consecutive days, he certainly has the stuff but that slider is a killer on that arm. You risk losing him for extended periods of time if he was put in the closer role.
...we had no other options, Leyland LOVES Valverde, we weren't consistent enough.
IMO, it's his job all season. Does he fold under pressure? Don't know. But hopefully we at least get to the pressure (deep in the playoffs).
It's weird. I mean, he could come back and be solid. His falling apart last year was strange. If he's gained some velocity back on his fast ball he should be fine, but even if he hasn't, the key to his success is his splitter. He just stopped throwing it at all down the stretch, and if he's found his command again he'll be right back to his old self, only waaaaaay cheaper.
Looking back, I feel like everything was blown out of proportion. Jose made 4 saves in the final week of the season and gave up 0 runs and only allowed 1 hit over that time.
Then he gets into the post season, makes a routine save in game 1 of the ALDS. Allowing no baserunners and striking out 2 of the 3 batters faced. After that we remember the implosions against Oakland and New York, but I don't know. It was 2 games. Granted, they were huge games, but it happens, and maybe the pressure got to him a little bit. However by no means was he awful over the course of the entire season. He was solid. Which is all we really need out of our bullpen.
Yeah, he imploeded in the playoffs last year. Up until that point he had been fine, and in 2011 he was unbelievably good.
Who else do they have to do the job?
Benoit has been a home run machine over the past year.
Coke can't get righthanders out.
Villarreal suddenly can't throw a strike.
Dotel is hurt
Rondon is completely unproven.
About the only option I could get behind other than Valverde is Albuquerque. His numbers actually are good enough that he might be able to do the job. But he has never closed before or even pitched heavily in a setup role, so that would be a large risk. Does he have the mental makeup for closing?
That is an exaggeration. In 2011 he DOMINATED right handers (.158 .213 .219 against) and his only real problem against lefties was walks. His .230 .356 .331 line against lefties was far from ideal but doesn't indicate a lucky escape artist. Combined with his righty split it shows a guy with relatively unhittable stuff who almost never gives up extra base hits but does walk a lot of left-handed batters.
So yeah, he gave up some baserunners but almost never the big hit that lost the game. In fact, he gave up only 12 extra base hits all of 2011 in 301 plate appearances against. That's about 4% of the time, which doesn't sound much like luck to me.
LULWAT? He was just fine, if not good, in 2012. If you want to toot your own horn on the internet, at least get your facts right.
Jones always looked like he was drunk when he was pitching. My suspicion has always been that it was wild turkey in the pen. He should have looked for sponsorship.
...in a certain Detroit paper, if you will, Leyland's expectations are fairly realistic:
“I just hope that this works out,” Leyland said. “This would be great for the Tigers, it would be great for Jose Valverde. But I’m not going to put the cart before the horse. Let’s just wait and see what happens and see how many days he can go in a row. He never turned down the ball as long as I had him here. He was a true soldier. He was. I think the world of him and I’ll just be glad to see him.”
I rather agree with Leyland here in the sense that we simply need to see how it works and go from there. It would be huge for Detroit and perhaps personally for Valverde if it does, and somewhere in there is a nice little comeback story potentially. According to Dombrowski, the velocity is back and he has got movement on his pitches again, so if the potential upside is getting back the pitcher who has averaged 32 saves per season in his career (36 per season with Detroit), then if you're the Tigers looking at the bullpen now, it seems like a low-risk high-reward scenario possibly. It's definitely an interesting development with the potential to be a timely and great one.
no other sport features personal drama quite like this, so much scrutiny on one player in the late going.
Every other person that's closed has sucked ass. While I hate the drama he brings he's been very effective the last couple of years. Reports are that he has gained velocity and movement from last fall.
I'm open and glad to see what big potatoe brings.
Laying on the couch last night after my son's baseball practice, reading MGoBlog mobile, and I see this post.
Quickly run to PC, log into fantasy baseball, see Papa Grande is the top trending player in all leagues...and still a free agent.
Pick him up, drop Benoit (who's been pretty much useless for saves so far, due in part to his sucky team). I feel like a slave to trends, but I can't see how Valverde can be much worse in terms of save production.
Thank you, MGoBlog!
If your metric of 'improving your life' is making a roster move for your fantasy baseball team, you might want to think about the bigger picture a little bit more.
Are you the Life Improvement Police? Do you have a list of approved activities and situations we should be following? Please advise.
I'd probably be a bit curmudgeon, too.
Having said that, I'm content with my life as an MGoBlog simpleton.
If Leyland likes a subpar player and can get them, they will play unless Dombrowski ships them to British Columbia.