Jose Veras: Can Closer Learn New Role For Detroit Tigers?

By David Fouty

With the way Joaquin Benoit has been pitching lately as the Detroit Tigers closer, there’s no reason they should remove him from his role and give the job to newcomer Jose Veras.

Jim Leyland has said that Benoit will remain the Tigers’ closer as he has done a fine job in the role since the departure of Jose Valverde. The only question is will Veras be able to get comfortable as a setup man?

Veras has converted 19 of 22 save attempts for the Houston Astros this year and is already on pace for a career year. The Tigers have done wonders for a few of their recent acquisitions as far as starting pitchers go, but the bullpen arms have taken some time.

It shouldn’t be a big issue for Veras to learn a new role. He’s still doing what he has always done, but sometimes there is a mental aspect that goes into closing, and there is a possibility that closing has brought out the best in Veras.

Max Scherzer, Doug Fister and Anibal Sanchez have all improved as starting pitchers since joining the Tigers, but it took some time for Benoit to get comfortable in his role. There is a chance that Veras may take some time to get comfortable with his new situation, but there is no reason he shouldn’t be able to fall into place and succeed just the way he has in Houston this season.

The bottom line on the Veras signing is that it gives the Tigers a bit more of a sure thing out of the bullpen.

They sent Luke Putkonen down to make room for him. Putkonen was pitching decently, but Veras is the type of player from whom you know what you’re going to get. Dave Dombrowski did well to add bullpen depth without breaking the bank.

David Fouty is a columnist for Follow him on Twitter @davefouty, “Like” him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google+.

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