Jose Valverde (wrist) could be ready to pitch Sunday

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Tigers closer Jose Valverde hasn’t appeared in a game since last Friday due to a sprained right wrist.

But he’s just about back to 100 percent health.

According to Chris Iott of Detroit’s MLive.com, Tigers manager Jim Leyland said Saturday that Valverde is a “possibility” but “not a sure thing” for Sunday’s series-finale against the Pirates.

Phil Coke and Joaquin Benoit have been tasked with handling ninth-inning duties in his absence.

Valverde, 34, has a 4.18 ERA and 1.50 WHIP in 28 innings this season. He’s 13-for-16 in save chances.

Dallas Keuchel could make season debut on Friday vs. Nationals

Dallas Keuchel
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Braves manager Brian Snitker is hoping recently-signed starter Dallas Keuchel will make his season debut on Friday when the Braves open a 10-game road trip with a three-game set against the Nationals, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. For now, the Braves have not officially named a starter for Friday.

After spending seven months as a free agent, Keuchel finally inked a one-year, $13 million contract with the Braves on June 6. He tossed seven shutout innings with nine strikeouts in his first start with Single-A Rome, then gave up three runs on 11 hits across seven innings for Double-A Mississippi on Saturday.

Last year, his final season with the Astros, Keuchel went 12-11 with a 3.74 ERA and a 153/58 K/BB ratio in 204 2/3 innings. The 31-year-old supposedly worried prospective teams due to his declining strikeout rate.

Keuchel is hoping to continue the Braves’ momentum, as the club has won 9 of its last 10 games and is 12-3 overall in June thus far, building up a 2.5-game lead over the Phillies in the NL East.