Jose Valverde Won’t Close For Tigers On Sunday

By RONALD BLUM/AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK (AP) – Jose Valverde won’t close for the Detroit Tigers in Game 2 of the AL championship series but manager Jim Leyland says the reliever is keeping his role for now.

“I guess that sounds like I am mud watching, but I am really not. I still consider him the closer, but he will not close the game,” Leyland said. “We will do some work with him.”

Valverde allowed a tying two-run double to Oakland’s Seth Smith on Wednesday in Game 4 of the AL division series as Detroit lost 4-3, then gave up two-run homers in the ninth inning to the Yankees’ Ichiro Suzuki and Raul Ibanez in Saturday’s ALCS opener. Detroit rebounded to win 6-4 in 12 innings.

After converting all 49 save chances during the 2011 regular season, the 34-year-old right-hander was 35 for 40 this year. Leyland and pitching coach Jeff Jones were examining Valverde’s delivery at 3 a.m.

“It is way too slow. The tempo is not good at all,” Leyland said. “I don’t even know if I am right about it, I probably shouldn’t say it, but I will say it anyway, it almost appears to me that it looks like he is kind of waiting for something bad to happen. And I don’t know if I am accurate on that, I may be totally wrong. But sometimes when you read a player, you can see that he’s not quite as confident. And he is normally very confident. But I think there is something to this mechanical part of that. I definitely think that.”

He planned to decide on his closer Sunday based on matchups.

“I cannot give you one name. I have a suggestion box down by my office,” Leyland said.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Comments

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More From CBS Detroit

Best 4th Of July Concerts In Metro DetroitStaying home this weekend? Celebrate the 4th of July by rocking out at one of these shows.
Hump Day Drinks: 8 Cheery Cocktail RecipesNow that you've made it through half the work week, it's time to celebrate!

Watch & Listen