Valverde Back As Tigers Closer

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Not only did the Detroit Tigers resign Jose Valverde, but Tigers manager Jim Leyland announced that Valverde will immediately reclaim his role as their closer. Valverde was the Tigers' closer the past three years, but the team was prepared to let him leave as a free agent after he faltered during the 2012 postseason. However, he never signed with another team, and Detroit brought him back on a minor league deal. The question must be asked - is this more about the Tigers bullpen being a mess or Valverde actually being ready to step back into the role and being effective? For what its work, it was reported that Valverde looked great in extended spring training and in his first few appearances with High-A Lakeland. Excuse me for not running to the waiver wire to grab Valverde. Take a wait-and-see approach with him.  

 MLB News & Notes

  • Chad Billingsley is the latest victim of Tommy John Surgery and is done for the year. Billingsley was diagnosed last summer with a slight tear in his ulnar collateral ligament, but he and the Dodgers made the decision to treat the injury with rest and plasma injections. It looked like it may work, but the ligament finally snapped. The Dodgers started the season with eight potential starters. Now Billingsley, Chris Capuano, Zack Greinke are on the disabled list and the team traded Aaron Harang. Luckily for the Dodgers, Ted Lilly is returning from the disabled list today.
  • Justin Upton stayed hot despite the freezing temperatures in Denver. He homered in both games of Tuesday’s doubleheader against the Rockies, giving him a major league-leading 11 home runs for the season. In Game 2, Justin and his brother B.J. Upton hit back-to-back homers for the first time since being on the Braves.
  • Mark Ellis had a career night on Tuesday against the Mets. Ellis went 4-for-5 with two home runs as the Dodgers topped beat the Mets. Ellis now has 100 career home runs.
  • Carlos Villanueva was unbelievable on Tuesday night in Cincinnati. He allowed just two runs in 8 1/3 innings of a no-decision against the Reds on Tuesday. He has been excellent in his last two starts, but has not gotten a win in either because of the horrific Cubs bullpen.
  • Paul Goldschmidt had a two-run homer and added an RBI double as the Diamondbacks beat the Giants 6-4 in 11 innings on Tuesday. Its early, but its good to see Goldschmidt hitting right-handers.
  • Jason Vargas gave up three runs in seven innings Tuesday in a no-decision against the Rangers. Vargas still does not have a win, but the good news is the Angels prevailed for the first time in one of his starts.
  • Sean Burnett won't be available until at least Thursday due to some soreness in his forearm. Its not great news, but it is a minor setback.
  • Erick Aybar (heel) will not be ready to be activated from the disabled list on Thursday as expected earlier in the week. Aybar and the Angels remain hopeful that he will be in the Angels’ lineup next week.
  • Justin Maxwell (hand) was placed on the disabled list with a fractured hand. He’ll be replaced on the roster by Robbie Grossman.
  • Kevin Gregg recorded his first save for the Cubs on Tuesday. A few weeks ago, Gregg did not have a job, but with the horrific Cubs bullpen he will probably get another opportunity to close. Don't you make the same mistake.