Jose Valverde returns to the friendly confines of the Comerica Park bullpen and will be the closer for the Tigers immediately after signing a reported one-year, two million dollar deal. Valverde threw well in the three innings he pitched for the Lakeland Flying Tigers, giving up one hit, two walks, and allowing zero runs. Reports show that his velocity is up from the 2012 season, throwing between 93 and 96 mph consistently. Also, his splitter is supposed to be splitting more…and he’s still spitting the same amount.
So what does this mean for the Tigers moving forward? It means we have a MLB established closer that isn’t as bad as the Detroit faithful would lead you on to believe. So maybe the 30.38 ERA in the 2012 post-season was a little much…but this is still the guy who was 49-49 in save opportunities in 2011. Can we just give Papa Grande a chance to succeed before we throw him under the bus? It didn’t take more than 10 minutes for the news of Jose being brought up until my Facebook timeline blew up with negativity of the Tigers and their recent move. Please save the Valverde drama until HE actually causes drama in the 9th!
To this all I say, vamos Papa! vamos!