The bullpen situation in Detroit just got a whole lot messier. Tigers closer Jose Valverde entered Tuesday's game in a non-save situation needing just three outs to preserve a Detroit victory, but could only manage two before grimacing in pain and leaving the game with reported lower back tightness according to Fox Sports Detroit.
Without Valverde in to close the door, the Tigers gave the ball to reliever Octavio Dotel, who promptly gave up a pair of runs before he could even record an out. Dotel not only nearly blew the game in the process, but sucked even more wind from the sails of Tigers fans brave enough to wonder what life without Valverde might be like.
If Valverde is forced to miss even a brief amount of time, it's expected that set-up man Joaquin Benoit will assume the closer role in full. But even that scenario would leave a significant hole in the 7th and 8th innings, which could force Tigers starters to pitch deeper into games and tax the most essential part of organization's pitching staff. For now, though, it's expected that Valverde is day-to-day, but be sure to stay with SB Nation Detroit for more updates as news becomes available.
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