Jim Leyland finally may be pulling the plug on the Jose Valverde experiment.
According to Matthew B. Mowery of the Oakland Press, Leyland told the media he would use Joaquin Benoit as the team’s closer when he’s healthy and available.
Leyland said he would close with Benoit when healthy and available, but is not naming a closer. #Tigers
— Matthew B. Mowery (@matthewbmowery) June 20, 2013
This is great news for Detroit Tigers‘ fans who were dreading having to watch “Papa Grande” blow saves and give up towering home runs recently. Valverde’s latest debacle was about as embarrassing as it gets. He allowed four runs on five hits and looked completely outclassed. He has the ability to take the wind out of his team’s sails like none other.
Though no one has come out and said it, that news Thursday essentially confirms the Tigers will be looking to add bullpen help. There have been reports they may be interested in acquiring Jesse Crain from the Chicago White Sox, but they should be careful to not give their division foes a top prospect who will come back to bite them in the future.
Benoit has performed exceptionally well as the setup man this season. He has a 1.80 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP. He has 35 strikeouts to go with nine walks, and more importantly, he appears to be confident in his ability unlike Valverde.
If getting blown out by the Baltimore Orioles is what it took to finally get Valverde out of his spot, Tigers’ fans might consider it a fair trade. It was fun while it lasted — well, not really.