Leyland hopes Valverde’s ready “in the very near future”

There was no off-day workout in Detroit on Monday, so the media access was limited to conference calls. That included manager Jim Leyland, who continued to carefully walk a tightrope on Jose Valverde’s status.

In title, as expected, he remains the closer. In actuality, the Tigers still have a closer by committee for now, and he’s going to play the matchups. But Leyland sounded like somebody who didn’t plan on having Valverde on hiatus for long.

“I am hoping that Valverde in the very near future is ready to take back over,” Leyland said. “As I said, that is pretty important that we have him.”

Leyland has talked about the importance of getting Valverde back as a part of this bullpen. Monday was the first time he directly referenced getting him back closing, other than saying he’s the closer.

On that same conference call, however, he sounded like Valverde’s still very much a work in progress.

“We have to make sure we get Valverde straightened out,” Leyland said. So you do what it takes to win the game. Whatever you think is your best option, that’s what you do.”

Valverde wasn’t available Monday, but he said after Sunday’s win that his pregame side session with pitching coach Jeff Jones went well.

“It’s good — so far,” Valverde said.

13 Comments

It is hard to say if we will see him – Jim is loyal to a fault with his guys. Something is off with Jose and until they figure it out they can’t trust him with a close game. I for one hope not to see him tonight, because I can already hear the boos when he would come out and I can’t bear to hear a true fan boo a player. He isn’t pitching this way on purpose of that I am sure and hearing that will just make me feel like I am at Yankee Stadium – if folks can boo Curtis Granderson after 44 home runs this year I guess anyone can be booed. Regardless – he needs straightened out, I doubt we see him except for a blowout situation which I doubt happens. And I doubt Leyland would allow him to come in after what I expect to be a great Verlander outing – maybe he’ll go 9 again? GO TIGERS!!!!!!!!

Any boos would be for Leyland’s decision if he puts Valverde in a close game, having seen the results recently.

right but jVV won’t take it that way is the problem

These are bandwagon fans for the playoffs.

It is now Jim Leyland’s turn to be in a position to break the fans’ hearts. He has to manage with intelligence and common sense, not with his heart. He has to make sure that Valverde is “pitchable”. Throwing him back into the fire is not the right answer. This should be very clear. The results are discouraging but the act in itself would be demoralizing to the players.
Leyland needs to handle this with kid gloves and discretion. That may be hard for a Bull in a China Shop to do.

good points. I think JL did a good job with Coke – so hopefully he will do a good job with jVV.

I must admit, I am a bit worried about that.
As to this game. Huge.
Thinking that being home, having momentum, Yankees reeling, Verlander on the slab all reverses drmatically if the Yanks are able to win this one.
JV in not invincible. Our guys still have to hit. And we still might need a bullpen.
Best thing so far is that it does look, weather-wise, that JV will not get rained out. From what i’ve seen the forecast is less friendly tomorrow night.

yep tomorrow looks like a stretch to get the game in

If Wednesday’s game is rained out, it ruins Girardi’s plans to use CC on three days rest in a possible game seven. After last year, that would put the horse on the other foot.

well at least it isn’t in front of the cart this time

it might sound weird – but lets keep this line of thought hush hush until the start of tonights game. who knows who looks at these conversations.

“right-hander Marcelo Carreno and cash considerations to the Cubs to complete the Aug. 5 trade that sent Baker to the Tigers”

2012 Postseason Bullpen Analysis. Ten teams have played twenty six games with a total of nine saves. Jason Motte (Cards) and Jim Johnson (O’s) have two saves each. Of the other five saves our Detroit Tigers own two of them. One for Phil Coke and one for Jose Valverde. Also during these twenty six games there have been seven blown saves. Our Tigers own two of them. One for Joaquin Benoit and one for Jose Valverde. Let’s get back to a few positive thoughts. We have five guys in the bullpen with an ERA of 0.00. We have two young pitchers, Al Albourquerque and Drew Smyly who have fresh arms because of stints on the DL. We must be careful with them as they are a big part of our future but they are also eager to help the team win now. Phil Coke spent sooo much time in the dog house after the All-Star break that he qualifies as another fresh arm. His performance in the playoffs borders on spectacular and mystical. Why did Dave Dombrowski get us this Octavio Dotel guy anyway?? Oh, that’s right he pitched twelve games in the playoffs for the team that won the World Series last year. Is he ready to go?? You
bet he is. Our manager has used all seven of his bullpen pieces and at Yankee Stadium he found the right times to use our two lefty relievers so they were successful. In summary, we have had a good team effort in our bullpen with teammates picking up our two workhorse relievers who have had three rough outings in these playoffs. We’ve got your backs Joaquin and Jose. Nobody better than the Tigers. We are up 2-0 aren’t we?? Go Tigers!!!!!!

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