Detroit Tigers Dilemma: Jose Valverde Edition

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The Detroit Tigers are one of the most talented teams in baseball and are expected by many to represent the American League in the World Series and many are picking them to go on to win the World Series. Those expectations may only be dreams however, as the Tigers have a dilemma that no team in baseball is envious of, what to do with Jose Valverde and their closer role?

The Tigers entered this season saying that they were in no way going to resign Valverde and they were going to instead opt with rookie Bruce Rondon to handle the closing duties. Rondon struggled at the end of Spring Training which led the Tigers to open the regular season with a closer by committee. The Tigers seemed content with this option and still there was no mention of bringing back Valverde to close out games. The closer by committee approach soon ran into some problems and cost the Tigers a couple of early games in the season. This caused the Tigers to look to the free agent market and bring back a familiar face in Jose Valverde with a minor league contract. The contract was seen as a win win for the Tigers. If Valverde was able to regain his form, the Tigers would have a potent closer. If Valverde failed  to work out his issues, the Tigers wouldn’t be on the hook with a major league contract and would be able to cut ties with Valverde once and for all.

Valverde was able to work his way smoothly through the minors in a couple of weeks mainly unscathed. He was getting batters out and not giving up many runs. This made the Tigers make the move of bringing Valverde up to the big club to close out games for them once again. All was going well for the first couple of save opportunities but then Valverde got shaky  and blew his first save in his fourth appearance on May 12th against Cleveland. He would then go on to blow another save in dramatic fashion against  Baltimore when he gave up two home runs in the ninth inning, a solo shot to bring the score to within one and a three run shot for the blown save and the loss. His latest blown save has brought out all of the frustration in Tigers fans that has been building since the first one. Only one strike away from notching the save and giving Justin Verlander the win, Valverde threw a meatball over the plate that Lorenzo Cain was able to deposit into the seats to tie the game at two. This led to an outcry from the Tigers faithful to replace Valverde with someone else, anyone else. The question is though, who do you replace Valverde with?

The Tigers have some internal options that they could use at the closer role though none of them are proven and not yet reliable or already flourish in other roles. The first option is using Drew Smyly to close out games as he has shown the ability to get out both left and right handed hitters. There are two problems with Smyly though. Smyly has never been in the closer role so who knows if he can handle the pressure, and Smyly is crucial to the Tigers out of the bullpen especially for long relief roles.

Another option is promoting Bruce Rondon back to the majors to take over the closer role. Rondon saw very limited time in the majors earlier this season with no success. In 2.1 innings pitched, Rondon has given up five hits and three earned runs for a 11.57 ERA. He has pitched well in the minors though this season. In 23.1 innings pitched, Rondon has a sparkling 0.77 ERA with 10 saves. The only worry is with Rondon’s lack of experience. He showed the lack of experience at the end of Spring Training and his limited time in the majors and the biggest question is if he will be able to get major league players out with the same efficiency as minor league players.

The one candidate that Tigers fans may be most comfortable with would be Joaquin Benoit.  In 28 innings pitched, Benoit has a rock solid 1.93 ERA while giving up only 6 runs. He has the ability to get any batter out and has proven to be able to perform in high pressure situations. The only problem with Benoit is that he is a strong eighth inning set up man and if you put him in the closer role, all you are doing is creating a hole in the eighth inning.

These situations lead to the dilemma that the Tigers face. Do the Tigers give Valverde a short leash and some more opportunities, or do the Tigers make a move right away, whether internally or through a trade, and send Valverde packing once and for all?

What do you think Nation? If the Tigers are to trade for a closer, who should they trade for? If the Tigers look internally for a replacement, who should it be?

-Brett D’Angelo

406 thoughts on “Detroit Tigers Dilemma: Jose Valverde Edition”

  1. I don’t think they can send him down because they bought his contract. everyone is talking Papelbon but at what cost? let Benoit close until we figure something out.

  2. Don’t send him to Toledo…I don’t wanna blow the few leads they get lol…ya gotta drop him like a bad habit

  3. From what I understand he made sure his contract states that he cant be sent down to Toledo. So let’s get rid of him !!!

  4. I have a feeling he’ll be gone soon and Leyland will be gone after the season if the Tigers do not win the series……..he appears to have lost the support of the organization’s $200 million dollar man and his crotchety, old codger routine is wearing thin.

  5. Trade for one quickly. Never should have brought him back in the first place after last year.

  6. No one is perfect. But a closer had to come darn close. I think he has potential to be a great closer, but I’m not sure he can do that with the negativity his return has generated in Detroit. He set a goal ( a perfect season) that he apparently cannot live up to. Well, Verlander isn’t having such a great season either, but I don’t hear his contract being discussed. I wish those who have to make this decision well.

  7. Gotta stick with him it’s fun to see him lose and for the tigers to hang on his every pitch also he sure gets blood pressure levels up sky high gotta keep him for just the suspense!

  8. he would have to prove the trade because Detroit is on his no trade clause. plus he is owed 13 million through 2015. we need to resign Max Scherzer if our pay roll goes up I doubt he will get resigned.

  9. Go back to what they did last season after the Series…..get rid of him!!!!! Sorry Jose, but it was a big mistake to take you back. He’s screwing up things just like last year and this will screw the Tiger’s up again. Get someone else but not HIM!

  10. WTF, Verlander you should be PISSED…. Valverde you need to goooooooooooooooooooo far away….Wake up Leyland he just cost a WIN for Verlander and the TEAM

  11. Why is it a dilemma?? Just cut your losses & release him… Go with what ya got & watch for a trade…

  12. I don’t see why we NEED a closer… Use Smyly, Beniot, Coke, AL AL, whoever but a OCD train wreck is NOT the answer…

  13. You are right no one is perfect. But Valverde is not a closer he will never be a good closer. He was a one season wonder. He has had enough time with the Tigers to prove he can get the job done. Big difference between Valverde and Verlander. JV, will get the job done. No comparison what so ever. JV should not even be mentioned in the same sentence as JV.

  14. I don’t care, they just need to get rid of him. I say, get rid of Valverde and give Alverez a shot. He did great his first start, I think he has potential.

  15. I say give Rondon a chance…or put Porcello in the pen and have Smyly take his place in the rotation. We need someone who can throw strikes. Not someone who can toss up batting practice fastballs with great regularity like Valverde. Or…convince Tim Wakefield to come out of retirement!! 😀

  16. Cut him let him play in the Mexican league ! We need to bring up from with in and hunt for the best we can get and hope for the best then next year sign a bad ass in the off season are team is close to perfect !

  17. The issue is NOT Valverde. The issue is the Manager, who continues to stick with and trust players who either do not belong in the Majors or are a bad fit for this team. He has proven this over and over, always to the detriment if this team. THIS is the problem.

  18. give the ball to Rondon in the 9th, as simple as that, he is pitching great in the minors and he deserves a fair chance not like the one he has been given at the start of the season

  19. Get rid of Papa Minisculo and hand the job to Benoit/Smyly. Bring Rondon up to let him learn the ropes at this level.

  20. package up Fielder..waay too much money for such piss poor production…AJ…we have proven we do not need his bat or glove…and Porcello and Coke…and cut bait with Valverde…Leyland’s head will be next…and he take Gene Lamont with him!!

  21. if you go to the world series the previous year, you’re usually doing pretty good as a manager.

  22. Smyly is a great option since they don’t know what the hell to do with him … HELLOOOO!!!!

  23. The Manager is HARDLY why the most talented team in the Majors got to the WS – but if you’re gonna give him the credit for getting them there, will you put the blame on him for going 1-8 in the last two WS (in which they were HIGHLY favored)?

  24. Well actually Coke could b a closer n plus we’ve got Rondon so trade for another player i guess

  25. get rid of him, either by trade or release! He’s had his second chance and blew it 3 times within the month that he’s been back.

  26. It’ll never happen, Dennis. The management is intractably entrenched. MI will never fire DD, and DD will never fire JL. Ever.

  27. There was 3 good options they were Fransico Rodriguez, Rafeal Sorino, and Brian Wilson but noooooo they go wit papa fatty instead. Why there at it get rid of Dirks and Kelly lol

  28. I have to go back a read up on him a bit more I thought it was even less than that. I thought he blew 2 out of every three games.

  29. He did this in az too. The nuclear power plant in Phoenix is Palo Verde and that is what we call Valverde for his nuclear meltdowns. Time for him up hit the road.

  30. He needs to go. He should have never been brought back to begin with. Sad as it is for him, his career is over. I hope he invested his money wisely

  31. Trade if at all possible but try and give Porcello the job and see if he can get it done. He hasn’t gotten it done as a starter and we haven’t found a good place for him yet so I say why not give it a shot.

  32. no way we win a WS with this guy as our closer. surprised Ilitch even allowed Dombrowski to give the guy another opportunity. there is a reason 29 other teams didnt sign this guy during the off-season.
    If Ilitch is willing to spend the money, I like the idea that Buster Olney threw out there with going after Phllies closer, Papelbon. but will cost us about $39m over 3 years to do it.
    In 22 appearances this season, Papelbon has 12/12 saves, .68 WHIP and a 1.52 ERA.
    I don’t like the idea of giving the role to Smyly. he is a really good, starting pitcher capable kid, who can give you at least 3 innings out the BP. stupid to utilize him as a closer. tigers don’t have many of them in the BP that can do that right now (AlAl used to be able to, but has struggled this season), and it is something every BP needs if a SP comes out and gets high in the PC early, or just plain has a bad day and gets lit up.
    if not going after a trade, like Papelbon, I say give Rondon another shot. the kid had 1 bad outting, and Leyland was quick to send the kid back to triple A. he has had less opportunities than Papa Grande has blown saves this year. and if you believe he is our future, and Papa Grande is playing the way he is this year, give the guy another shot for the few weeks here before the All-Star break in mid-July. if it doesn’t pan out, we need to seek a trade.
    luckily Detroit is in a bad enough division that between now and the All-Star break to find the final solution going into the second half and hopefully a road to return to the WS, that we can afford to give the kid a shot at a few games to see how he does.

  33. keep valverde, but look from within for closer. closers are a waste to trade for since they are typically only good for a couple seasons and no great ones are on the market!

  34. This is a dilemma like “should I get a cast when I break my leg?” is a dilemma. It’s a no-brainer. There has never been a clearer no-brainer.

  35. I don’t hate papa grande as much as you guys. I kinda like him but he’s lost the ability to put a blown save behind him. I say release papa. He was great for us but isn’t the closer he used to be. Sign Brian Wilson to a minor league contract and promote Rondon for the time being. Probably the safest bet.

  36. You can’t trade him since not one club was even interested when the Tigers released him last year! Cut your losses now and release him so everyone can stop obsessing over this.

  37. Two years ago Valverde went 49-0. Last year he blew saves in critical situations. During that same time the Tigers tried to turn Phil Coke into a starter, a silly move that almost ruined his career. Leyland had to baby Coke along almost a pitch at a time to turn him back into an effective reliever.
    Before I release Valverde, I want to know if he can get back to his 49-0 form. I think the Tigers can afford to try to do that.

  38. Erich has a good point — and it should be said, especially on a thread like this. FWIW (and I know no one gives a rat’s behind what my opinion is), I don’t HATE any of these guys, especially Valverde. I believe these guys are going out and doing the best they can possibly do. I really don’t like to hear when people say they ‘hate’ this guy or that guy. It’s unfair to these guys who sweat blood for the team. Unless you have a reason to question work ethic, then lets keep the hatred to a minimum.

  39. (This is why I’m not a fan of the Management — they choose to sign and play guys that simply should not be playing for this team. Having JL as a closer is like driving a Bugatti Veyron with $4 brake pads)

  40. It is time to say goodbye to Jose. Baseball players age like everyone else. He doesn’t have it anymore. Thanks for all the saves you did have in Detroit Papa Grande!

  41. this man has to go ! not only is he giving up hits he ‘s giving up homeruns ! be doing it since last year . we need a closer try someone else ; if we have to make a trade don’t give up our top prospect unless we get a true shut down closer .

  42. If we have to keep him, let him pitch 8th and Benoit close. Benoit seemed much more reliable at the end of the season last year.

  43. They need to be scouting the heck out of some 8th inning guys on other teams that could be had fora lesser price (who they project could close). Until then its Benoit/Smyly while Rondon gets some more seasoning in Toledo

  44. How about start scoring runs like this line-up is suppose to,remember this lack of offense was our demise last season.

  45. Trade if someone is available, otherwise just go back to bullpen by committee, at lease that way I can’t be mad at the same player all the time. 🙂 Alvarez seems like he’d be great trade bait.

  46. Benoit cant close he 16 for like 35 in save opps before this year… He is dominant at his 8th inning spot. Leave him there. I say give porcello a shot n move smyly into the rotation… If he doesnt get it done we got another month to make a deal

  47. Send Valverde back to the minors, make Porcello the closer, put Smyly into the starting rotation, and bring up the next pitching phenom for middle relief work…

  48. did you hear mumbles rant about how us fans don’t have a clue what we are talking about with valverde.

  49. LOL @ ‘mumbles’…
    The funny thing is that we really *don’t* know what we don’t know. So much goes on in the locker room that we’re clueless about. However, results are results.

  50. Trade…find someone out there. Can’t handle Valverde’s heart attack moments, even when he’s on his game. And don’t upset the rest of the pen by promoting within. Get someone new.

  51. Get rid of his ass he had one good year with us that’s it he is a head case dump him and never look back

  52. What do you mean what do you do with him? Let him go and have the guy that delivers hot dogs to comerica park close out games. He can’t be any worse…..Right?

  53. Gotta love pappa, but either there are severe mechanical issues, or he has just lost it. We’ve got to do something soon but should be careful not move to quickly. It’s ok right now because fortunately the other teams in our division suck worse than us (at least their records do). It’s not a critical issue until after the all star game. Then Mr. Dombrowski better saddle up and bring a new doggie home.

  54. why would you geopardize the future of the tigers in his hands???you should’nt have brought him back to begin with.if you keep putting him to close n gives it away then don’t expect us millions of fans to stay loyal with the tigers…

  55. it’s nice to know brother and sister are on the same page when it comes to the Tigers 🙂

  56. its time to say good bye, he hasn’t worked his kinks out, he hasn’t proved his change for the better, we took a chance. its time to say good bye, we supported him enough, gave him enough chances…we don’t need to sacrafice anymore games on him.

  57. just get rid of him for good, it should have been final after is postseason meltdown. I don’t know what it takes to get the message across our management like common!

  58. What to do with him??? Seriously. .I say make him play. .you were stupid enough to bring him back. Now deal with it and watch all your money go down the drain. And watch league champs last year to the worst team this year..good job Tigers

  59. Get rid of the closer’s role altogether and simply put your best (remaining) bullpen member in to finish the game. There’s no need to pretend it’s a special talent to get a Hold in the 9th vs. the 8th.

  60. If he could actually close, then keep him but it’s quite obvious he can’t any longer.

  61. That being said, Valverde is mentally unstable. He believes in too much superstition and if he didn’t chew his gum exactly 56 times or whatever bizarre ritual he has, he loses all confidence. A person like that doesn’t belong on their payroll.

  62. I wouldn’t call Prince “piss poor production”! Yes his HR totals are down, but the guy is 4th in the league in RBI’s, 3rd in BB’s and 6th in OBP!! And in addition he never misses a game. Sounds like pretty damn good production to me!!

  63. Release Valverde and Coke. Bring up A.A & Alverez. Trade Dirks, Avila & a pitcher for a closer. Bring up a catcher & Garcia.

  64. get rid of the wet burrito while they can. He was great once, but not anymore, time to go tubby bye bye!!!!

  65. Trade him and a prospect like garcia to a struggiling team that has a great closer and grab him. It will be a good deal.

  66. Have to just cut him or maybe try him in middle relief and cut if he still cant get it done.

  67. Valverde down to Toledo. Smyly as the temporary closer until a trade is made for a legit closer.

  68. He has driven me sooo crazy ever since he came here. I turn off the game as soon as they bring him in. Send him ANYWHERE! Send to Trump so he can say YOUR FIRED!

  69. Its not Leyland serving the gopher balls. Valverde should be gone with Kelly, and Avilla

  70. my first thought was why the heck did you bring him back???one good year and no he can barely finish a game…

  71. must have forgotten his .150 average for the post season last year…not worth the investment..IMO

  72. The first step is to go with the starters as long as possible, because the entire bullpen is sub par. Secondly, Leyland should go with a relief pitcher as long as possible, while keeping the bullpen ready. My view is that you don’t take a pitcher out that is pitching well, for a reliever that may or may not have his “A” game on any given day. It seems that Leyland is willing to throw away games now, in order to be better rested later in the season. You need to play to win everyday.

  73. Just get rid of him! I don’t care if the bat boy has to close, don’t let Valverdeever touch a basenall again as a Tiger! If anybody disagree’s, they’re not a Tiger fan.

  74. stick with papa. Why would we put coke or one the losers there. There WORSE! What even worse is coke for one thinks it funnie when he fucks up. Witch every seems to forget he dose a lot! Why is it they yell about pap but not some this other that worse. How many is coke or benion going to toss away before the 9th? Or how many times can Fielder get the most outs in a game? How about getting rid of dumboski? All he dose is trade our good peaple away.

  75. Drew Smyly is the best candidate to close. Starter’s arsenal, doesn’t get hit hard by lefties or righties, and has the right temperament.

  76. its unfortunate that he did not improve enough to properly “close” the games, so at this point, it is time for him to go. I have been questioning Jim’s decision on this, and I have always enjoyed Jim, but come on! Let Verlander do the whole game…he could do it!

  77. Trade for a closer, that’s if any other team would even want him, if not, he still needs to go!

  78. Valverde should have never even been brought back. Not a single team had any interest in signing him, so that tells you something right there. The Tigers should have picked up a real closer during the off season, instead of relying on an unproven prospect (Rondon). Mr. Illitch needs to spend some real loot, and get a proven closer if he plans on winning a World Series anytime soon.

  79. Starting pitchers should be expected to complete their games like in the old days. The modern 100 pitch count is a farce. Verlander should be more upset that he was taken out of the game the other night!

  80. He’s a human being just like the rest of you – amazing how hateful many of you can be.

  81. Starting pitchers should be expected to complete their games like in the old days. The modern 100 pitch count is a farce. Verlander should be more upset that he was taken out of the game the other night!

  82. Replace him with Linda Lovelace, sure she blows a few but she doesn’t choke on the big ones.

  83. Revoke his work visa and send him back to the Dominican Republic. Or else trade him for 2 good hot dog vendors and a groundskeeper.

  84. he’s got to go. you brought him back to see if he has improved and he continues to struggle even the games he has managed to save he has made them nailbighter situations. all the money this tram has spent on it’s batting lineup you would think they would be able to spend a few million to get a decent closer. i wonder f they miss jason grilli he seems to have a pretty good career going on in pittsburgh these days. continue to develop rondon in the minors and try to help him develop a couple more pitches to his arsonel. the guy has a hell of a fastball just needs to get the command under control is all. in the meantime i would say to put benoit in that spot as the options are pretty slim right now.

  85. I want to see them try Smyly as closer this year until Al-Al or Rondon get their control solid enough for the 9th. Makes more sense to give him a shot; some of the best closers were originally starter prospects, and Smyly doesn’t have the usual lefty/righty splits for a LHP.

  86. How many times does he have to lose the game for them before they wake up? Hello!!!!!! Three strikes……you’re OUT!!!

  87. They need to get a new closer one way or another. Someone who can get the job done. Valverde can’t close a damn door these days.

  88. Quit trolling Jeff, anyone who actually knows a thing or two about baseball will tell you having Fielder in the lineup behind Cabrera is the single biggest contributing factor why he was able to win a triple crown, and why he will have another chance at one this season. Teams can’t pitch around Cabrera because they aren’t going to put another man on base for Fielder. And if you want to use playoff stats against him, it would be wise to recognize that Detroit went to the World Series in their first season with Fielder in the middle of the lineup. If you think that had nothing to do with it, you’re kidding yourself.

  89. WHY CANT we in-the-meantime just DEMOTE him to ‘just another arm’ in the pen vs THE closer? go back to playoff mode/ POST game 1 ALCS that is??

  90. I really don’t care what they do as long as he doesn’t play for them anymore…Bring in a kid from Little League

  91. With this lineup of hitters, why is any team within striking distance by the ninth? As for Valverde, move him to a starter. Once he gives up a couple runs bring in the real pitcher. That way our lineup has innings to catch up and go ahead!

  92. Should have never brought him back… I couldn’t believe it. Jim hangs on to players for too long when they are a proven non performer.

  93. Bullpen by Committee until trade Deadline!! You can’t trade Valverde, because nobody wants him. Just release him!!

  94. Drop him off at Ponderosa…..he would probably be actually be good at closing that place!!!

  95. Fire his.stupid ass he sucks an his bi colored beard is just plain out stupid he looks like a retard!!!!!

  96. No one in the system seems to have what it takes to be a go to closer. Its time to look outside the system and trade for a quality, proven closer.

  97. This has been talked to death already. The smartest thing to do, is hang on to him, while finding the guy from within to replace him with. Closer aren’t let go of easily, the Tigers aren’t going to find one better than Valverde on the open market right now. What he needs, is someone to sit down with him, and help straighten his head out on a day by day basis.

  98. If Jim want’s to keep him…use him as the 6th inning releif…other wise?…release him!!…he has BLOWN too much in our favor

  99. Make a trade to acquire another closer. Just don’t mortgage the whole system to do it. Once you get another closer… dump his sorry ass.

  100. See if he can sell popcorn and beer in the upper deck. That’s where all his pitches ended up so he’s familiar with the area.

  101. He has to go!!!!!!!!!! This is unacceptable, pay the extra money and get the closer we all want.

  102. it’s funny, 2 years ago a good portion of the people saying he sucks, he’s an ***clown, etc, were most likely singing his praises. Not that I don’t think he needs to go. He is clearly not the pitcher he was and most likely will not ever be again. I feel bad for him, one year he does nearly the impossible and goes 100% and now it’s 50/50 at best. The team cannot be successful with him. Period. Thank you Jose for your time and service but the team needs to go a different direction.

  103. Get rid of this fool… He got lucky one season.. I’m done with him.. Get him out of my Tigers Clubhouse…!!!!!!

  104. Kick Valverde to the curb & convert Porcello to a closer…..& Leyland couldn’t manage Little League!!!

  105. Sorry, but he has to go! They never should’ve brought him back in the first place!

  106. Milwaukee has three closers… Henderson, Axford, and K Rod. Go get one of ’em. Any of those guys are way better than Valverde. It’s sad that the Tigers didn’t take care of this in the off-season. I don’t know why they thought they could just throw a rookie out there to close games for a World Series caliber team.

  107. Yeah, Verlander has been awful, 3.41 era..GIVE ME A BREAK! Still one of the top 3 pitchers in the league. Valverde had his day, he is done.

  108. They would be better off using a closer by committee until they can get someone more permanent. He is a one man wrecking crew. Wasting our stellar starting pitching!

  109. Leyland is a good manager. The more he plays him the more he puts pressure on Dombrowski to move someone else in. Smart. Puts the ball in the GM’s court

  110. They HAVE to trade some young talent for a closer…they are built to win it all now. It’s now or never!

  111. ok….whats the problem? throw him down into the minors and bring up a young guy who is hungry…how hard is that?

  112. Leyland is kinda forced to use him. Do you think the front office would allow Leyland to keep Valverde on the bench? That would be like my boss paying me to stay home.

  113. Well,there isn’t anyone that Leyland won’t play. He’s like a Little League manager, making sure everyone’s parents are happy.

  114. The other issue is that he leaves his pitchers in WAY too long — way past the point where you know they are out of juice, or they never had the good stuff in the first place. JL doesn’t care. It’s like he’s more worried about upsetting them than he is about wins. You almost NEVER see him switch pitchers in the middle of an inning, and it’s almost never a pre-emptive chance. He sticks with them until they break – THEN replaces them (when the team is now down by 4 after being up by 2).

  115. I believe the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

  116. Try Jose Alvarez, he had a good showing as a starter maybe he can find a niche as a closer. Worth a shot can’t be any worse then what is going on now.

  117. Who the hell wants him now? Acquire Brian Wilson already! Or maybe make Smyly a closer. Whatever they do, they’d better get someone reliable for the playoffs.

  118. I knew this experiment was a bad Idea from the start. Coke and company blew through games like a knife through butter after replacing bobo grande last year. Why didn’t Leland keep up the trend? Or was it Dumbrowski?

  119. never should have gotten him back. trade for a great closer , then he can pitch agaist us and strike us all out….. get rid of the bum.

  120. dilemma?? they should have never brought his dumpy ass back to the team!!! there should be no dilema….drop him…leave him anywhere but on the mound….and what about leyland’s decision making…verlander was pitching what, a 4 hit shut out and they pulled him…let your ace finish his games.

  121. Need a closer with more pitches then a fastball or a fastball. The person at bat can’t know whats coming next. That’s what a pro does and that is what makes him a pro.

  122. I agree…Its annoying and silly…Do these people think Valverde doesnt care or isnt trying? He deserves respect,hge made millions of dollars pitching in the bigs for the last 12 years…He has 280 something saves…He didnt get them by luck he has talent…He’s just getting older….

  123. The person who blew it here was Dombrowski for thinking he was going to use a ROOKIE as a closer on a world series contending team….You people who call Valverde names and talk about him like hes a bum are wrong…He has been in the bigs for 11 years,has a career 3.14 era and has saved 286 games,he has had a GREAT career,he is just reaching the end of the line unless he can come up with a trustworthy secondary pitch….Do you think he doesnt care? Do you think he likes to blow late leads? I bet he feels really bad about it so why dont you people lighten up and at least have the brains to blame the right person….

  124. Keep him around so he can pitch the Home Run Derby….then release him following that. And if Jim wants to bring him back, release Jim as well.

  125. Let him go but treat him decent. We have all to gain and nothing to lose by trying somebody else.

  126. I hate to see anyone lose a job…but, this closer needs to be GONE like yesterday! He’s hot garbage!!

  127. It doesnt seem fair to throw the Rondon kid on the hot seat just yet….It would be better if they could just let him mop up and get used to pitching in the bigs and work towards closing next year or the year after if we can find a good closer over the next 6 weeks….

  128. Never should’ve signed him back with the Tigers. Tigers should’ve looked harder for a closer pitcher. Wish I could get paid what he’s getting paid and blow the games…..

  129. Ok just a thought here……………..and feel free to try it Jimmy Leyland. Since you have no closers who can put a game away, open up the game with Valverde, let him pitch his 2 innings let the game get out of hand then let your starters come in for 7 innings shut them down and walk away with the W !!!!! HUMMMM I might have something here, maybe I should be the Tigers new manager

  130. Base on what he is shown you release him. But that is why we paid for a great coach so I pray to god he make the right decision.

  131. What I don’t like is he did extremely well for the last few years for the Tigers and he had a few bad games. Unfortunately, it was when we needed his best and kind of lost us a few important games in the playoffs. So, personally I can see him NOT closing for a while, but I think he has some stuff to fit in and do some good pitching in the right spots. I don’t think he should be just a closer or closing all the time right now, but I think he has some usefulness.

  132. .. @Bobby I’m with you on the name calling – he did some really good stuff in the past for us – so he is a little off right – but I think he pitch in the right spots – but to say the the things people are saying is a little over the top – It’s sad

  133. The Tigers organization must have had their heads up their asses when they brought this guy back. Now look what’s happening. U can’t depend on Verlander and Scherzer to win it all the time.

  134. As a baseball learning stupid European, I see the Tigers losing games in the 8th, 9th or extra innings all season. To me, Valverde isn´t the problem, he´s just a part of it. Offense is fine, Pitching works out six or seven innings – but closing close games seems to be a bigger problem to the Tigers right now. It´s more the managers decisions and less the pitchers decisions that loses these games. right?

  135. i don’t understand the dilema?? he’s done more wrong than right and he’s only a closer for the opposing team. papa pequito, bye bye

  136. get rid of him and make porcello the closer and move smyly to the rotation, great closer were once starters example Rivera and Smoltz.

  137. I’ve often wondered who’s a** Jose V had to kiss to get back into a Tigers uniform? Seriously, Leyland, Did u not learn from last season? Evidently not!

  138. No, you (& we) don’t have a vested interest. To vest an interest, ya gotta have some skin in the game. The people with skin in the game (literally) are the team’s employees (players, coaches, manager, front office) and – most of all – Mr. Illitch, the owner, who has millions of his dollars tied up in this team. We just have an interest – not vested. (It’s as silly as saying I have a vested interest in whether or not Keith Richard cleans up his act because I like the music of The Rolling Stones!) We’re JUST fans, our only interest is a rooting interest. Give it a break and stop obsessing.

  139. Look at Valverde’s ERA (& opposing batter’s BA against) before you start making statistical comparisons.

  140. I love how FANS are so willing to shell out millions of Mike Illitch’s money (not that Mr. Illitch hasn’t proven more than willing to shell out the money himself). I wonder how many of these so-called fans would be willing to shell out even ONE million of their own money . . . I wonder how many of them even HAVE a million dollars.

  141. tigers go out and find a new closer ,see who,s out there ,its going to cost them some money though ,but why wasnt this taking care of in the off season ?

  142. no way valverde should stay on this team ,i say i more blown save and he has to go for sure ,and i dont want tigers to lose any games if it was up to me which its not .

  143. I guess must sign stay w tiger support keep won he good pitch strike wow I hope tiger keep him

  144. I know, Jim Elek, it’s just funny, to me, that this popped up shortly after the discussion! LOL

  145. Two years ago he was awesome; saved nearly every game he was in. Since then, though…well let’s just say he needs to be replaced.

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