By DAVE HOGGFOXSPORTSDETROIT.COM
The Tigers have a new closer and his name is Joaquin Benoit.
Jim Leyland made the announcement before Thursday's series opener with Boston and one day after Jose Valverde's latest pitching mound meltdown. Valverde allowed four runs in his first 10 pitches against the Orioles, including a long homer by Chris Davis.
"Right now, I'm going to close games with Benoit, as long as he is healthy and available," Leyland said. "I can't predict how games will go, and there might be times when he's not available to pitch, but when he's ready, he's who we are going to use."
Benoit didn't want to comment about his new job, since Leyland hadn't talked to him yet, but said that it is difficult having it up in the air.
"It's a tough situation for all of the bullpen guys, not knowing who is going to close," he said.
After telling the media that it would be Benoit, Leyland scoffed at a question about if he would be clear about his new role.
"If I bring him into the nin...