On Wednesday afternoon, Detroit Tigers closer Jose Valverde was officially diagnosed as day-to-day with a lower back strain after leaving Tuesday's game against the Chicago White Sox with lower back tightness. Valverde is 2-1 this season with a 5.51 ERA and seven saves in nine opportunities.
According to Jason Beck, set-up man Joaquin Benoit will step in for Valverde as the team's closer unless "matchups dictate otherwise." Benoit has 11 career saves in 32 possible save opportunities.
Valverde day to day with lower back strain. Benoit the likely closer for now unless matchups dictate otherwise. #Tigers— Jason Beck (@beckjason) May 16, 2012
Even with Benoit stepping into the closer's role, the Tigers still face a significant problem with who will manage the set-up position. Unless another pitcher is able to step up and fill his role, it will force the starters to pitch later into games.
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