Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  Last updated 4/4/13
Now that Jose Valverde has signed a minor-league contract with the Tigers, the obvious question is: When will Papa Grande be back as the closer? The obvious answer is: When he can once again command his out-pitch, the split-fingered fastball at Triple-A Toledo. Valverde lost the ability to throw the splitter effectively late last season and became a one-pitch guy. However, FOX Sports Detroit Tigers analyst Rod Allen said the clubs scouting report on Valverde sounds as if hes gotten his repertoire back in order. His velocity is a little better, Allen said during Thursdays game telecast from Minneapolis. And he threw some split-fingered fastballs that were very good. Valverde repotedly is throwing mid-90 mph fastballs back home in the Dominican Republic. Allen went on to say that Valverde, 35, has lost weight and gotten into good shape. Hes hungry, Allen said. We shall see. Valverde saved 110 games for Detroit the last three years, including a club-record 49 without a blown ...
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