Jose Valverde warmed up for a save opportunity last night, but had to shut things down in the bullpen with wrist soreness and the Tigers instead turned to Phil Coke to close out the 6-3 win over the Cardinals.
Valverde showed up at the ballpark today feeling better, but told Jason Beck of MLB.com that he expects to miss at least 3-4 days and will be examined further by a wrist specialist before the Tigers decide if a disabled list stint is needed.
After converting all 49 of his regular season save chances last year Valverde has already blown three saves in 16 opportunities this year while posting a 4.18 ERA and nearly as many walks (17) as strikeouts (19) in 28 innings.
Joaquin Benoit is the likely fill-in closer, although Coke could get some save chances based on lefty-righty matchups.
Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner left Monday’s Cactus League game against the Athletics after he was hit by a pitch. He went for X-rays, revealing that he suffered a broken wrist, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports. Shaikin adds that Turner is unlikely to return before May, noting that Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman missed six weeks with a similar injury last year and Astros outfielder George Springer missed nine weeks in 2015.
Needless to say, this is a huge loss for the Dodgers. Last year, Turner hit .322/.415/.530 with 21 home runs and 71 RBI in 543 plate appearances, helping the Dodgers reach the World Series. He made the All-Star team for the first time in his career and finished eighth in NL MVP balloting.
Thankfully, the Dodgers have some versatile players on the roster. Logan Forsythe could move from second base to third, giving Chase Utley more playing time at second. Enrique Hernandez could man the hot corner as well. Chris Taylor has played some third base, or he could shift to second base in Forsythe’s stead. The club should shed some light on how it plans to move forward following Turner’s injury.