October 14th, 2012

Tigers go with bullpen by committee for now

Your Tigers closer for now is TBD. Manager Jim Leyland, who once made Bill Landrum a closer out of a bullpen by committee in Pittsburgh, said Sunday he’ll play a save situation by ear if the Tigers take a lead in the ninth.

He still calls Jose Valverde the closer. For now, however, he is not closing.

“If I have to mix and match for a longer period of time, I’ll do that,” Leyland said.

Healthwise, Leyland said, Valverde is fine. Effectiveness, of course, is another story.

“It looks to me like he’s kind of waiting for something bad right now,” Leyland said.

That said, he cautioned, “Jose Valverde is still a huge part of this team.”

Among the other closing options at Leyland’s disposal are setup man and occasional fill-in closer Joaquin Benoit, who has thrown strikes but been prone to the long ball, and Octavio Dotel, a former closer at several stops who had a few chances this year when Valverde and Benoit have been on rest.

ALCS Game 2 lineups: Tigers at Yankees

Well, the easiest decision of Jim Leyland’s day is done. We know who’s starting Game 2. Who’s closing it if the Tigers have a lead in the ninth is another matter, and we won’t have any better idea on that until Leyland talks this afternoon before the game.

The Yankees pretty much move a bunch of hitters up in Derek Jeter’s absence. Jayson Nix starts at shortstop, batting ninth.


  1. Austin Jackson, CF
  2. Quintin Berry, LF
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B
  4. Prince Fielder, 1B
  5. Delmon Young, DH
  6. Andy Dirks, RF
  7. Jhonny Peralta, SS
  8. Alex Avila, C
  9. Omar Infante, 2B

P: Anibal Sanchez


  1. Ichiro Suzuki, LF
  2. Robinson Cano, 2B
  3. Mark Teixeira, 1B
  4. Raul Ibanez, DH
  5. Russell Martin, C
  6. Alex Rodriguez, 3B
  7. Curtis Granderson, CF
  8. Nick Swisher, RF
  9. Jayson Nix, SS

P: Hiroki Kuroda