OT: Jose Valverde regains closer role with Tigers

Submitted by feanor on April 23rd, 2013 at 9:03 PM


Any thoughts on this?  Tigers re-sign Valverde after he pitches 3 shut out innings in single A.  Leland says he will be the closer starting Wednesday night if the situation arises.

I really don't think I will ever be able to watch another 9th inning after the playoffs last year with Valverde.

Freep has more information, but I am not going to be the one who links it.



April 23rd, 2013 at 9:15 PM ^

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.

yossarians tree

April 24th, 2013 at 1:12 AM ^

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.



April 24th, 2013 at 7:21 AM ^

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.


April 24th, 2013 at 10:28 AM ^

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.


April 23rd, 2013 at 9:13 PM ^

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.


April 24th, 2013 at 8:16 AM ^

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.


April 25th, 2013 at 12:51 AM ^

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.


April 23rd, 2013 at 9:16 PM ^

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?


April 23rd, 2013 at 9:17 PM ^

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.


April 23rd, 2013 at 9:19 PM ^

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.

Jack Daniels

April 23rd, 2013 at 9:28 PM ^

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


April 23rd, 2013 at 9:52 PM ^

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.


April 23rd, 2013 at 10:06 PM ^

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.


April 23rd, 2013 at 10:09 PM ^

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.


April 23rd, 2013 at 10:17 PM ^

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.


April 23rd, 2013 at 10:47 PM ^

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


April 23rd, 2013 at 10:59 PM ^

...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


April 23rd, 2013 at 11:34 PM ^

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.