April 12th, 2013

Valverde faces hitters in extended spring

Jose Valverde had his first chance at live hitters Friday in an extended spring training game against the Braves in Lakeland. He tossed a scoreless inning with a walk and a strikeout.

Valverde has at least one more outing scheduled in Florida, a one- or two-inning performance against Tigers minor league hitters in a scrimmage game Monday. The Tigers haven’t announced what happens from there, but at some point he’s expected to report to Triple-A Toledo for some appearances against advanced hitters.

Valverde, who rejoined the Tigers on a minor-league contract eight days ago, has no guarantee of a return to Detroit, where he spent three years as closer. He has an opt-out date of May 5 that allows him to request his release if he’s not in the big leagues by then.

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