About the past 10 days all the Tiger fans have been going crazy over “Papa Grande” being the closer still. And I don’t mind them being upset about it because I’m unsure if Jose Valverde will be able to make it the rest of the year. However, here is what General Manager Dave Dombrowski had to say on the situation:
“You always want the guys to be perfect,” Dombrowski said when asked specifically about Valverde. “I’d much rather he be 49-for-49 or whatever he was a couple of years ago, but that’s impractical under most situations.
“He pitched very well when he first came up with us, but he has had a tough 10 days. His velocity is still there, but his split-finger has been very inconsistent. He needs to be better with that pitch, but I think he’ll be OK.”
He also added this later on about the closer market:
“It’s been a tough year for closers,” Dombrowski said. “There are very few dominant closers out there and there have been a lot of blown saves. It’s a situation where what you can do is flip-flop names, but other organizations are talking about the same thing.
“Right now (Valverde) is going through a tough period, and when you’re going through a tough period it’s never easy. But I think he’s in a position where he’ll come out and he’ll pitch well for us and do a good job.”
Now if you recall in the offseason, the Tigers had a chance to go after Rafael Soriano, who is now with the Washington Nationals. He is 16 of 19 in save chances this year and has been solid for them. The Tigers also had a chance to get Huston Street who is 11 out of 12 in save opportunities for the San Diego Padres this year.
However, the Tigers still have options. Brian Wilson is still a free agent and if healthy, he could be an absolute force in the back of the pen. But the question about him is his health right now which could mean they get him for a low price. Or they can try to make a deal for a bottom feeder’s closer near the trading deadline. OR they could stick with what they have.I think that would be a mistake and this team is one player away from winning a World Series. Both the offense and starting pitching have been excellent so far. Dombrowski should make a move to try to create faith and belief in the chance to make the World Series again. Because if they have a solid closer, they will win it this time.