DETROIT— The spinning wheel keeps on turning!
Working his way back from oblivion and earning a second chance the Detroit Tigers have given Jose Valverde a one-year major league contract.
“We love Papa Grande and what he has done for our organization,” Detroit Tigers General Manager Dave Dombrowski said. “But it is a matter of getting the job done.
Valverde is no stranger to hard work or with getting the job done, during the 2011 season he was perfect 51 times for the Tigers.
What a potential for a Hollywood movie script that could be in the making for the Tigers and for Valverde.
“He’s been able to bounce back throughout his career and hopefully he’ll bounce back very well,” Dombrowski said.
After the San Francisco Giants defeated the Tigers in four games and took the trophy back to the city by the bay for the celebration of being the 2012 World Series Championship.
It appeared after the 2012 World Series that Valverde and the Detroit Tigers were going to take different pathways and separate.
Valverde looking for a different team, looking for more money and looking for his command of his pitches but all winter he just sat around waiting patiently-but no phone call.
Now here he is-back for the Tigers.
“One thing you know about him, he done it before and he is not afraid and we know that that are the two things we know,” Detroit Tigers Manager Jim Leyland said. “He is a good teammate one of the best that I have been around.”
Valverde finally received a phone call from Dombrowski and Valverde accepted the challenge from Dombrowski and so he reported to Lakeland, Florida with a minor league contract with no guarantee of his return to Detroit.
Valverde impressed the Tigers.
“He has a splitter that he is throwing, I can’t tell you if it is like 2011,” Dombrowski said. “But he is throwing it. It’s not like last year when he didn’t throw it and he is throwing strikes.”
Strikes were something that Valverde did not throw last season.
Making room for Valverde, the Tigers sent down to Toledo relief pitcher Brayan Villarreal, who had been struggling with his control and command.
Joining Valverde in the bullpen will be Bruce Rondon; Leyland said that his stay in Toledo is impressive.
Rondon worked 7.2 innings, striking out nine and walking two and giving up no runs while he worked in Toledo.
“He’s done pretty well,” Leyland said. “He is not going to be a closer to start with but that does not mean he’ll never close a game,” Leyland said. “Right now, I want to work him in and get his feet wet in the big leagues and see what he looks like.”
Rondon can throw a fastball that can reach 100 miles per hour, when camp broke and the Tigers headed north Rondon was assigned to Toledo for what Leyland said more seasoning.
Leyland is hoping along with the rest of the baseball fans that follow the Detroit Tigers that the signing of both Valverde and Rondon will be an event that will create more smiles and more spinning of the turnstile.
About the Author
Written by Mel Suiter
Graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 2002 and have been working as a beat writer for The Ypsilanti Courier covering Eastern Michigan University football and men's basketball during my school career and after graduation. I like the Mid-American Conference and the rest of the mid-major conferences.