Walkoff Woodward

Concerning Detroit Baseball
February 19, 2013

Jose Valverde In Perfect Form

There’s literally almost nothing to talk about these days, and by these days I mean these middle of February days where it’s not really the off season anymore and it’s not really spring training even though there are players in camp no doubt working out and throwing balls and playing lightsabers with their urine in the team showers…ugh….yeah.

Anyway, the World Baseball Classic will help those in baseball withdrawal (like myself), but that’s nearly two weeks away, and so we’re still all sitting here trying to create distractions by playing with our children and actually talking, talking, to our wives or girlfriends or husbands or boyfriends. I mean, I even went and visited with my father the other day. I mean, god, I must be horrifyingly bored. I kid, of course, seeing as how I barely have time in my day to take an hour lunch, but I’m just making a very illustrated point.

Speaking of people making a point, our good buddy Rob wrote a post the other day over at Bless You Boys. If you didn’t read it, shame on you, but here it is.

Now, even though I gave you the link above it would still be silly of me to start talking about what he wrote about without a brief synopsis. In short, he said, to quite a bit of criticism, that the Tigers, maybe, should bring Jose Valverde back on a major league deal at a fraction of what he made last year (maybe south of a million) with the belief that he would provide some more competition for the closers job, a clubhouse presence, and perhaps he would even mentor the incumbent Bruce Rondon.

This is what Jose Valverde has to say about that:

JV3I mean, to me, that’s a bit rude seeing as how his 2012 was a certified nightmar, but Jose Valverde kind of has a point. He’s been a legit closer for the last decade, after all, and based on all the peripheral stats, the 2012 season was a fluke outlier. He should be getting a big league closer job somehwere.

This what Jose Valverde has to say about that:


I didn’t finish, I meant to add, ‘in Houston’, but yeah, I agree with his reaction. I mean, it is pretty exciting when a baseball blogger on the internet defends you.

So, I’ll agree with Rob, though I’ll agree to a point. I do think a baseball team should offer him a major league contract, but I think it should be $1-$2 million with another $1-$2m in incentives, and I don’t think Jose Valverde should be allowed near the ninth inning of a baseball game with a giant yellow foul pole. In fact, and this is the key, he shouldn’t be anywhere near a left handed batter.

Take the last two seasons for example.

2012 Season PA BB SO SO/BB BA OPS BAbip
vs RHB 127 8 27 3.38 .193 .515 .253
vs LHB 167 19 21 1.11 .257 .754 .276
2011 Season PA BB SO SO/BB BA OPS BAbip
vs RHB 122 5 30 6.00 .158 .432 .195
vs LHB 179 29 39 1.34 .230 .687 .292

There is a glaring difference in both of those graphs, and based on the walk rates alone you could formulate the theory, hell, you could have watched three games last year and come to the decision, that he should only face right handed batters as a strict ROOGY situational arm. Jose Valverde cannot pitch against left handed batters. I have yet to find a person able to explain why, and even though I think it has something to do with him tipping the split finger, there’s no way I can prove that.

This is what Jose Valverde has to say about that.


Sure, I understand that, although I’d never spit at a couple million bucks no matter who offered it. Look, now that the Mets are reportedly backing away from him, he really has a limited number of options if he wants to start the year with a baseball team, forget about closing for one. He knows that, so he’s going to pitch for the Dominican Republic, along with Octavio Dotel, to try and get a few teams interested.

No matter what he does, I think that he’s going to remain unemployed. At this point in a the off season, teams are turning to their own internal – and cheap – options as spring training begins. There are position battles that will bring out the best in young arms, arms that didn’t spit out vomitrocious, 6.3 strikeouts per nine innings last year and who still want millions of dollars. This brings us back to the Tigers. They have quite a few options in spring camp. They have the obvious arms in Joaquin Benoit, Phil Coke, and Octavio Dotel. Then they have a myriad of options like Bruce Rondon, Al Albuquerque, Brayan Villarreal, who all should be on a major league roster this year. While  I think that Valvere could be a very effective ROOGY, who could easily post a half win season despite 2012 shortcomings, I don’t think the Tigers should go anywhere near him.

In fact, I’ll use the words of Michael Scott now.

In the end, and despite all the uncertainty, one thing is for sure.

Just one.

Regardless of what his 2012 stats said, photographs of Jose Valverde still leave him in perfect form.



  • http://www.walkoffwoodward.com/ Josh Worn

    New post ladies

  • Randy Riggs

    Other than finding room for Valverde on the roster, there really isn’t a downside to resigning him at a deeply reduced cost. I think we’re kidding ourselves if we think that closing by a draw of straws or by whoever has the hot hand will be effective. It may be an unpopular move with the fans, but the fans are the one’s who will be out for blood after our closer experiment(s) crash and burn a few times.

    • http://www.walkoffwoodward.com/ Josh Worn

      Over under on closers this season is at 4…..

      • http://www.walkoffwoodward.com/ Josh Worn

        I’m over.

      • Randy Riggs


  • beelza

    No way Mike or Chris Ilitch allow Valverde to be a Tiger ever again. In short, Ilitch’s would veto Dom, Jim…etc. Players, coaches, manager, last post-season lost all confidence in Jose. You could see it in the players, felt it at the ball parks. There is no stat for that. The merit of this empiricism cannot be understated. Player’s, coaches and managers see very different things when they observe, watch or evaluate players – especially the closing pitcher. Moreover, what has Jose done to his game that may suggest he’s not the 2012 version of Jose in 2013? Of course the obvious must be asked, why hasn’t any other team picked him up? Please, don’t gimme the money, salary excuse. Enter the Mike Singletary rant on Vernon Wells, b/c it applies to Valverde’s possible Tigers rejoinment.

    • Randy Riggs

      While agree he won’t be back in a Tigers uniform this season, Valverde isn’t don’t as a player or as a closer. He’ll be back somewhere and this season. Meanwhile we’ll probably break Rondon.

    • http://www.walkoffwoodward.com/ Josh Worn

      Leyland made it should like it more is the fact the think tank understands that the fans wouldn’t be very accepting.

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