Jose Valverde may not be injured, but he's admitted to being fatigued. That fatigue has shown in the postseason this year. The Detroit Tigers' closer has allowed seven runs in 2 1/3 innings pitched this postseason. He has fallen a long way from his dominance of 2011. Valverde did not blow a save last season, and he still managed 35 saves this season. However, once the playoffs began, Valverde broke down.
The Tigers, in an effort to stay prepared for when the World Series does start, played a simulated game today against some instructional league players. Valverde pitched one inning, and he still struggled. Valverde gave up a run on two hits and a walk in the bottom of the first inning. It wasn't wuite your normal scenario, but considering the Tigers were trying to stay as amped as possible, Valverde's struggles are concerning.
Jim Leyland does not think there will be an issue with Valverde in the World Series, but he also doesn't expect him to play a key role says Chris Iott of MLive.com.
"I think everybody's making too big of a deal of the Valverde situation," Leyland said Saturday prior to a team workout at Comerica Park. "Valverde's going to be ready. There's nothing wrong with Valverde. He's going to be fine."
The Tigers are waiting to see who they will face in the World Series. After clinching and moving on Thursday, Detroit has a long layover before Wednesday's Game One. The same thing happened in 2006, and the Tigers lost the World Series 4-1. They hope to change that by playing simulated games. They also hope their players will be healthy. If Valverde is healthy, he certainly isn't pitching at the top of his game. It will be interesting to see how Jim Leyland uses him in the World Series.
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