Valverde Goes DTD, Then Jackson


In the middle of another inept non-save appearance on Tuesday, Jose Valverde heard something ‘pop’ in his lower back. He wasn’t able to finish the at-bat, much less the game. Yesterday evening in Detroit, in the middle of an awkward swing against the Twins Austin Jackson pulled something in the abdominal region.

It doesn’t look like either of the two is headed to the disabled list, but it doesn’t look like either one will be able to contribute anything for the next few days either. As far as injuries go – the Tigers can’t exactly claim to have it bad. Still, having these two key cogs out but still eating roster space means the Tigers are going to be fighting the Twins and Bucs a little short-handed.

To make sure that the team wouldn’t be a man down (aside from in a figurative sense) with Valverde spending a few days in in physical therapy, Danny Worth was sent down in order to bring up Brayan Villarreal. Villarreal certainly has his fans on this site and elsewhere, but I can’t say he has won me over yet. I won’t be any more comfortable seeing him in a close game than Putkonen or Balester, and those guys made me cringe last night (and just about every other night they have pitched this month…). According to, the closer will probably be Joaquin Benoit in the meantime. So… don’t worry about the ninth inning – but the road to it is going to be even bumpier.

Unfortunately, that leaves the positional side even shorter now that Jackson is out. Don Kelly is the only plausible replacement for Jackson in center, leaving Ramon Santiago and Gerald Laird as the only positional reserves. No guesses as to who will lead off when Jackson sits – if the Tigers had any good options they would have been tried at some point already. Were he to hit the DL, I expect that we would see Quintin Berry called up to fill in at the top of the lineup. As it is, we’ll have to work with what we have. Given Jim Leyland’s known penchant for sticking reserves in whatever lineup spot the regular would normally be in, it wouldn’t be at all surprising to see Don Kelly lead off. No doubt whatsoever that he will field the position admirably, but I’m not so sure he’ll do what the Tigers need as far as getting on base.

In short, get well soon, guys. The last thing the Tigers need is Valverde and Jackson out for months. The second to last thing might be 10 days of day-to-day.