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A sometimes-irreverent look at Detroit's Boys of Summer, the Tigers, as they try to return to the top of the American League Central.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Valverde puts together three scoreless appearances for Lakeland

Through three appearances for the Class A Lakeland Flying Tigers over the weekend, Jose Valverde has faced one batter over the minimum of nine, including striking out the side against Clearwater on Monday.

After back-to-back hitless outings Friday and Saturday against Dunedin, Valverde yielded just a single in the seventh inning of Monday's game, earning a hold.

Valverde walked one in each of his first two appearances with the Flying Tigers, but erased both with ground ball double plays, needing just 20 total pitches. According to published reports, his fastball reached the mid-90 mph range this weekend.

The 35-year-old veteran reliever signed a minor league deal with the Detroit Tigers earlier this month, and had been working out in extended spring training before joining the organization's High-A affiliate.

While the Tigers have until May 8 (when an opt-out clause kicks in, if Valverde has not been brought up to the majors) to decide what to do with Valverde, they may still want to get him some time at Triple-A Toledo before they make the call. Up until now, they hadn't assigned him there because of the weather.

"At this point, we're not just going to leave him in Lakeland and make a decision," Tigers president and general manager Dave Dombrowski told reporters, including MLive's Chris Iott, last week. "Our plans are to move him up, but the weather's been so bad. We don't want him to go join the Toledo club and all of a sudden be sitting there for three or four days and he's not pitching because of the weather. Our decision at this point is weather-driven strictly."

Now would be a perfect time to make the promotion, as the Mud Hens are leaving the frigid north, and heading to Durham, N.C., for four games, followed by four games in Norfolk, Va. The temperatures are supposed to hit the 80s in North Carolina midweek, and be in the 60s in Virginia for the weekend.


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