Valverde out at least next few days with sprained wrist
Jose Valverde will miss at least the next 3-4 days with what has been disagnosed with a sprained right wrist, but neither the closer nor the Tigers expect him to require a stint on the disabled list while he recovers.
Valverde, who suffered the injury while warming up in the bullpen Tuesday night, underwent an MRI exam that showed inflammation around the flexor tendon in his wrist, Tigers head athletic trainer Kevin Rand said Wednesday afternoon. He’ll wear a wrist immobilizer for the next few days before he’s re-examined.
If he’s pain-free at that point, he can try to throw.
“We’re just going to treat him day to day and go from there,” Rand said.
The Tigers medical staff is not expecting that to take long.
“We’re not thinking it’s a long-term situation,” Rand said.
Earlier, Valverde said he still felt soreness in the wrist, but that it was a little better than it was last night.
“Last night, when I threw the last pitch, I couldn’t move my fingers,” Valverde said. “It hurt too bad last night. I couldn’t do anything. I’m a guy who wants to compete all the time. Something simple, I’d never shut it down. But last night, I couldn’t do anything. …
“It’s better today than yesterday. That’s why I think it’ll soon go away.”
With Valverde out, manager Jim Leyland he’ll use his relievers by matchup when it comes to save situations. Phil Coke earned the save Tuesday night, but Joaquin Benoit filled in for Valverde while he was sidelined with back soreness earlier this season.
Octavio Dotel also has closing experience over his many Major League stops and stepped in to get the save after Valverde’s back issues forced him out May 15 at Chicago, though he failed miserably in a save situation a week earlier in Seattle.
Even if he’s not closing, though, Dotel has the potential to be a critical piece. If Benoit’s closing, or if Benoit’s off, Dotel becomes the primary right-handed reliever.
“He’s a big key for us right now,” Leyland said.