Jose Valverde has made nine saves this season with the Detroit Tigers. (Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
After blowing two of his last five save opportunities and posting a 13.50 ERA in his last eight appearances, Jose Valverde was designed for assignment by the Detroit Tigers, CBSSports.com reports. They have 10 days to trade Valverde, or he will most likely be released.
The Tigers signed Valverde, 35, to a minor league deal in the beginning of April and rewarded him with a Major League contract after calling him up on April 23. He got off to a great start and had a 0.00 ERA after his first five appearances, but struggled from there.
Jim Leyland told reports Friday that Joaquin Benoit will get the first shot at closing games, but he has yet to name a permanent closer.
From the Detroit Free Press:
“I’m going to try to close with Benoit when healthy and available,” Leyland said. “So that means Benoit would be the closer if he’s able to pitch, hasn’t pitched too much, hasn’t been overused, and we have a chance to win the game.
“I’m not naming a full-time closer, because I’m not sure who will be available or who would need a day off if they pitched two or possibly three days (in a row).”
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The Tigers have also recalled reliever Al Albuquerque to Detroit, according to Jon Heyman.