Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland announced that he will not name a permanent closer as of now but will close out games with Joaquin Benoit for some games to come. This is in wake of designating former closer Jose Valverde for assignment, leaving the closer role open for the taking.
Benoit has been extremely solid this year with a 2-0 record, 2.01 ERA, 1.02 WHIP and an impressive 37 strikeouts in only 31.1 innings pitched. Benoit has even held the closer role previously this season when Valverde had been relieved of his duty earlier this season. He was 2-for-2 in save opportunities before Valverde was given another opportunity to take the closer role back.
Benoit is mostly a three-pitch pitcher and relies heavily on his fastball, which he throws around 94 mph. He is known to be a strikeout pitcher as he has averaged over a strikeout per inning in his past three seasons in the big leagues.
As many fantasy owners know, saves are a hot commodity and hard to come by if you don’t have the top closers in the league. Benoit is owned in about 50 percent of fantasy baseball leagues and should be picked up immediately if still seen in free agency. If Benoit can remain consistent and retain the closer role for the rest of the season, he could give you a good amount of saves at a low risk.