Jose Valverde’s second go-round with the Detroit Tigers is over, shortly after he was demoted from the closer role following a string of awful outings. The Tigers designated Valverde for assignment on Friday, multiple outlets reported, meaning the Tigers have 10 days to waive, trade or release him.
Al Alburquerque, who struggled with his control to start the regular season, was recalled from Toledo to take Valverde’s roster spot.
The Tigers re-signed Valverde to a minor-league deal in April, then promoted him a short time later after rookie closer Bruce Rondon flopped early. Valverde picked up nine saves, but he blew three and posted a 5.59 ERA in 20 games. He had been particularly awful as of late, giving up four runs in the ninth innings of a blowout loss Wednesday to cap a stretch in which he allowed six home runs in eight outings.
There won’t be any trade market for Valverde, so the Tigers likely will end up releasing him. It’s possible that they’ll try to slip him through waivers and then assign him to Toledo for further work, but Valverde’s days in Detroit appear to be over.
Alburquerque had a very impressive 2011 season, posting a 1.87 ERA and 6-1 record in 41 appearances. An injury limited him to just eight games last season, and he has a 3.14 ERA in 10 games this season.