Jose Valverde of the Detroit Tigers pitches against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Tigers came from behind to win 7-6. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
1 Total Update since June 24, 2012
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Detroit closer Jose Valverde could return Monday when the Tigers transition from interleague play with a series against the AL's top team, the Texas Rangers. Valverde was potentially available on Sunday as the Tigers tried to avoid a sweep in Pittsburgh, but manager Jim Leyland indicated he would not use the animated closer. Via Mark Emery of MLB.com:
"The word I got yesterday was that the fastball seemed pretty good," Leyland said about Valverde, who played catch Saturday, four days after spraining his right wrist. "Still a little feeling on the split."
"I won't take any chances if it's not right," Leyland said. "I'm assuming tomorrow is going to be the day for him."
Leyland said he would likely use Joaquin Benoit in the closer's role if they were in a save situation on Sunday. Valverde injured the flexor tendon in his right wrist while warming up on Tuesday during the ninth inning against the Cardinals.