LAKELAND, Fla. -- Tigers late-inning reliever Octavio Dotel is one of those players who becomes glue for a ballclub.
He often takes the mound and patches together a game on the verge of breaking the other way, and is a clubhouse leader who brings professionalism and harmony.
Dotel threw five innings of no-hit relief in the 2012 playoffs and was central in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series against the Yankees after closer Jose Valverde blew a four-run lead.
Now Dotel's assuming Valverdes role as a mentor to young pitchers and will continue to be a key element with the game on the line.
From the sixth inning on, Dotel is a guy you can count on to do any job you want done," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "And hes resilient, too. You keep him sharp and rested, and hes pretty good.
"I like to use him in the sixth or seventh, but he can pitch the eighth in a heartbeat.
Or even the ninth inning of one of the most important games the Tigers played last year.