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Will the Tigers use Jose Valverde in the World Series?

Oct 19, 2012, 10:34 AM EDT

Jose Valverde Getty Images

Jose Valverde hasn’t pitched since coughing up four runs in two-thirds of an inning against the Yankees on October 13, with Phil Coke emerging as Jim Leyland’s replacement closer choice.

It’s obviously hard to imagine the Tigers turning back to Valverde as closer at this point, but will they even have enough confidence to use him at all in the World Series?

“I don’t know what’s going to happen from this point on,” Leyland said, via Jason Beck of MLB.com. “Obviously, a lot of people are going to be saying, ‘Save with Coke’ now, but we will play it by ear.”

“We’ll play it by ear” is exactly what Leyland said about the closer situation heading into Game 4 of the ALCS last night and, while there was no save situation to be had thanks to the Tigers blowing out the Yankees, for the third straight game it was Coke on the mound for the final out.

Valverde has allowed 14 runs in 14 career playoff innings and by not getting any mop-up work he’ll have gone 11 days without pitching when the World Series begins Wednesday.

  1. chill1184 - Oct 19, 2012 at 10:51 AM

    Sometimes you just have to ride the hot hand

    • polegojim - Oct 19, 2012 at 1:35 PM

      Exactly… the guys has done some wonderful things… but Coke is doing very well.

      Don’t mess with the recipe.

  2. RBIs Win Games - Oct 19, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    If Leyland is not going to use Valverde, does he leave him off the roster? It was telling that Valverde didn’t come in for a “tune-up,” and now will have at least five days’ rest until his next possible appearance.

  3. number42is1 - Oct 19, 2012 at 11:27 AM

    “Will the Tigers use Jose Valverde in the World Series?”

    In a Word “no”
    In two words ‘Fu*k no”
    in Miggy’s words ” No motherfu*ker”

  4. darthicarus - Oct 19, 2012 at 11:37 AM

    The only way I want to see Jose Valverde is if he’s the guest tweeter for @PhilCokesBrain & even then I think that’s a downgrade.

  5. historiophiliac - Oct 19, 2012 at 11:44 AM

    Jim Leyland has the patience of Job Leyland. The rest of us do not.

  6. hk62 - Oct 19, 2012 at 11:54 AM

    After not pitching for a week, they’ll check his velo, if its +2 from Game 1, he’ll pitch him -

  7. dcfan4life - Oct 19, 2012 at 12:27 PM

    Leland will see how he does in when he pitches him in one of those 2 simulated games hes planning this weekend. But even then id be surprised if hes off the roster entirely. And id be willing to be he pitches at some point. Probably when there up like 4 runs or something, for like an inning in the 7th, just to get his confidence back.

    • polegojim - Oct 19, 2012 at 2:01 PM

      Won’t be removed from the roster and he’ll pitch him, but on a short leash.

      I like Jim’s position – Jose caved badly… but is HUGE part of past success. 110 saves out of 118.

      The guys deserves the ring for his contributions.

  8. lorddarkhelmet - Oct 19, 2012 at 1:57 PM

    His speed was down and mechanics way off before this break. I doubt strongly they would leave him off the roster but they won’t use him at all until he shows he is back to normal and even then will ease him back in, not put him straight back in the 9th in a save situation.

  9. suicidesqueeze91361 - Oct 22, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    Leyland certainly will use Valverde in the World Series…..

    …….SOMEONE has to hand out the bottles of Champagne after they win, and Valverde looks real good with a towel draped over his forearm……

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