Who would have thought that just over a month ago that the savior of the bullpen would have been the disgraced Jose Valverde. His return to the Tigers pen has allowed for guys to return to traditional and more defined roles which has provided stability to the end of close games.
Pitchers are creatures of habit. They do their best when they know when they will be pitching in games and what type of situation the manager will trust them in. When you go into a game not knowing if your going to be pitching the 6th inning or the 9th, you aren’t prepared to be successful. You have seen increases in performance from Joaquin Benoit and Drew Smyly.
Since Valverde’s Return: 4 IP, 2 hits, 1 earned run, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts, 2.25 ERA
Prior to Valverde’s Return: 10.1 IP, 6 hits, 2 earned runs, 5 walks, 9 strikeouts, 1.74 ERA
His control has dramatically improved, cutting down his average number of pitches per inning from 17.1 to 14.5, which is a big deal for being able to pitch o...