Leyland: Jose Valverde, Joaquin Benoit not available tonight

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Jim Leyland just did his little meet-and-greet with the media and said that Jose Valverde and Joaquin Benoit will not pitch in today’s potential elimination game. Or, to quote Leyland:

“I want to try to get through this game with Verlander and Coke”

I presume he means Phil, but for as dicey as this series is getting for the Tigers, who knows?

Seriously, though, he’s just facing facts here.  Benoit and Valverde can’t have a thing left in the tank given how much they’ve been used lately.  This is Justin Verlander’s game to win or lose. And to that end I put the over/under on how many pitches he throws at approximately three trillion.  Really, we might just see his arm fall clean off in this game. And even as it dangles by a tendon, it’s probably the best option Jim Leyland has.

Report: Twins interested in Wade Miley

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Free agent left-hander Wade Miley is among several offseason targets for the Twins, according to a report from Darren Wolfson of KSTP. Miley’s $12 million option was declined by the Orioles back in November, and while he’s expected to attract another major league deal in 2018, he hasn’t exactly been highly sought after this offseason.

The 31-year-old lefty finished his second campaign with the Orioles in 2017, producing an 8-15 record in 32 starts and ranking second-to-last among all AL starters with a 5.61 ERA, 5.3 BB/9 and 8.1 SO/9 in 157 1/3 innings. Even taking Miley’s undeniable durability into account — he remained healthy for the bulk of the season and completed his sixth straight year with 30+ starts — his declining value and career-worst numbers may lower his price tag as the 2018 season approaches.

Wolfson notes that the Twins have engaged in “regular dialogue” with Miley’s agent this winter, but he’s far from the only starting pitcher they have their eye on. Right-handers Yu Darvish, Lance Lynn, Alex Cobb and Chris Tillman are still on their radar, among several others, and club owner Jim Pohlad said Saturday that he was “totally on board” with the idea of signing a big-name free agent like Darvish or another available starter. “There are some interesting names and some interesting opportunities there,” Pohlad told a crowd at TwinsFest. “I’m as intrigued by it as anybody and attracted to it as anybody.”