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Jose Valverde earns save in first appearance

Apr 24, 2013, 11:04 PM EDT

jose valverde getty Getty Images

Without his patented goggles but sporting a new windup and two-toned goatee, veteran right-hander Jose Valverde converted his first save of the 2013 season on Wednesday night as the Tigers defeated the Royals 7-5 at Detroit’s Comerica Park.

It was his first appearance since being promoted late Tuesday to the major leagues and he retired all three batters he faced — Alex Gordon, Alcides Escobar and Billy Butler — in order, throwing 18 pitches.

Valverde looked awful in last year’s postseason and couldn’t find a job this winter, but the Tigers decided in early April to bring him back on a minor league contract. He showed decent movement and velocity on Wednesday night against the Royals, even hitting 95 mph with his fastball at one point.

Joaquin Benoit has been shifted back to a setup role. He went 1 1/3 scoreless frames Wednesday.

  1. historiophiliac - Apr 24, 2013 at 11:17 PM

    Oh, what the hell…

    Woooohooooo, V-Wiggles!

    • cur68 - Apr 25, 2013 at 12:19 AM

      Don’t you feel dirty doing that?

      • historiophiliac - Apr 25, 2013 at 7:37 AM

        Yes.

    • indaburg - Apr 25, 2013 at 5:13 AM

      If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Welcome back, Papa Grande.

      • historiophiliac - Apr 25, 2013 at 7:47 AM

        Yeah, you can look at the glass and say it’s half empty, or you can see it as half full…or you can turn that Big Potato mash into vodka.

  2. frank433 - Apr 24, 2013 at 11:49 PM

    I’m behind him 100%

    If he shows that he can’t handle it anymore, I will be free to change my stance on this.

    • polegojim - Apr 25, 2013 at 10:08 AM

      Frank – the problem is he’s already shown that he CAN’T handle playing against a line up of consistently good hitters in the Pennant run…. as seen over several years.

      He was horrible, throwing up meat ball after meat ball… and coughing up leads like a cat with multiple hairballs.

      I just can’t believe D doesn’t have an option to develop, while they phase him out.

  3. delusionalcardsfan - Apr 25, 2013 at 1:26 AM

    Pig.

  4. Old Gator - Apr 25, 2013 at 8:16 AM

    I think this is hilarious. I can’t recall the last time that Dave Dombroski – the guy with the foresight to bail on Scrooge McLoria the moment the little coprolite bought the Feesh – has looked so silly. So, Tigger fans, what’s the story with Rodan, or whatever that bulbous young reliever’s name is. Is he going to be for real or not?

    • nflfollower - Apr 25, 2013 at 8:25 AM

      Well Rondon is 21 years old, and in fact got called up after being lights out in Toledo. So to answer your question, yes he has closer stuff and could very well be for real, and may very well be an excellent closer for this club in the future. Is that what you asking? Sorry it was a bit unclear.

      • Old Gator - Apr 25, 2013 at 9:01 AM

        Yep. I recall that Rondon had a good spring, came up with the team, got hammered and got sent down again – necessitating the return of the unloved Valverde as an apparently temporary last resort. The entire Valverde saga, from his postseason meltdown last year to his sort-of triumphant restoration last night, has been one of the hoots of the new season.

      • historiophiliac - Apr 25, 2013 at 9:47 AM

        I’m so glad, OG, that we can offer you some levity in your time of grief.

        Detroit Feesh!

      • Old Gator - Apr 25, 2013 at 10:26 AM

        Grief was this past orfseason. What can you offer me in my time of numb?

      • historiophiliac - Apr 25, 2013 at 12:25 PM

        Python fodder.

      • Old Gator - Apr 25, 2013 at 1:15 PM

        Tell me about it. Anyplace else in the country, you call kitty kitty kitty in for dinner and she doesn’t show up, she’s been hit by a car. Here….

    • detroitr1 - Apr 25, 2013 at 10:55 AM

      Technically, Valverde hasn’t done anything to prove Dombrowski made a “silly” decision–yet. Anyway, this is still the same Dave Dombrowski who landed us a player named Miguel Cabrera from the ‘Feesh.’

      I wonder if Dave made any calls about Stanton…

  5. scoocha - Apr 25, 2013 at 11:49 AM

    I don’t know why people/media are so confused with his fall from the top. Look at history, when a closer has a season like Valverde did in 2011, said closer’s numbers drop back down to Earthly levels. It’s called regression to the mean, he can’t be held up to those standards since he doesn’t possess the requisite skill.

    • historiophiliac - Apr 25, 2013 at 12:25 PM

      Don’t be rational.

    • tapeterson2155 - Apr 25, 2013 at 3:36 PM

      regression to the mean is not a real thing. Stats 101

      • scoocha - Apr 26, 2013 at 1:01 PM

        Okay, so if Ia player hits 10 3 pointers in a row from 30 feet. Stats say that he will continue to hit 8-9 for the next 100 shots? Dude, stop watching ESPN and listening to Bill James.

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