When last we checked in on Jose Valverde the 35-year-old former closer was dominating Canadian teenagers, but Jason Beck of MLB.com has an update.
Beck reports that Valverde is now done with extended spring training and is expected to move up to Single-A this weekend. And if that goes well he’d likely head to Triple-A at some point next week, putting him in position to rejoin the Tigers’ bullpen at any time.
After failing to generate any big-league offers all offseason Valverde came back to the Tigers on a minor-league contract two weeks ago. For now manager Jim Leyland has decided on Joaquin Benoit as the primary closer, but if Valverde does rejoin the bullpen it’s hard to imagine him not getting a chance to reclaim ninth-inning duties.
The Braves got a scare last night after first baseman Freddie Freeman was hit on the left wrist by a Hoby Milner fastball in the bottom of the eighth inning. It was doubly scary given that, less than a year ago, the same wrist was fractured when Aaron Loup plunked him last year, causing Freeman to miss over a month and a half.
Good news, though: the Braves just announced that Freeman’s X-rays are negative and that he’s day-to-day.
On the season, Freeman is batting .288/.468/.492 with two home runs, 12 RBI, and 12 runs scored in 79 plate appearances.