Valverde pitching for the Tigers at Dodger Stadium, June 2011
|Detroit Tigers – No. 46|
March 24, 1978 |
San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic
|Bats: Right||Throws: Right|
|June 1, 2003 for the Arizona Diamondbacks|
(through May 17, 2013)
|Earned run average||3.08|
|Career highlights and awards|
José Rafael Valverde (born March 24, 1978) is a Dominican professional baseball pitcher for the Detroit Tigers of Major League Baseball. Known as "Papa Grande" and has also played for the Arizona Diamondbacks and Houston Astros.
Arizona Diamondbacks 
He gained the Diamondbacks closer role after replacing Brian Bruney in 2005. Valverde had some troubles in June 2006, and management sent him to the Diamondbacks' Triple-A affiliate, the Tucson Sidewinders. He returned to the closer role in early September and pitched well in his return. Valverde finished the 2006 season with a record of two wins, three losses, an ERA of 5.84 and 18 saves.
On June 23, 2007, Valverde passed Matt Mantei as the Diamondbacks all-time saves leader, with his 75th, a perfect ninth against the Baltimore Orioles. Valverde made the 2007 MLB All-Star Game as a closer for Arizona. Until he was traded during the 2007 offseason, Valverde was the Diamondbacks closer, and led all of Major League Baseball in saves (47) during the 2007 regular season.
On September 25, 2007, Valverde was named as one of 10 finalist for the DHL Delivery Man of the Year Award.
Houston Astros 
He finished his first year in Houston with 44 saves in 51 chances, a 6–4 record, 83 strikeouts, and an ERA of 3.38. He led the NL in saves for the second straight year and was second in the majors in saves for 2008. When Valverde entered into the game, a brief video set to Percy Rodrigues's opening narration of the trailer from Jaws played on the Minute Maid Park screen, leading into a montage of his best moments as an Astro backed by the Saliva song "Ladies and Gentlemen."
Following the 2009 season, Valverde filed for free agency, rejecting the Astros' offer of salary arbitration.
Detroit Tigers 
On January 19, 2010, Valverde signed a two-year, $14 million contract, with a third year team option for $9 million with the Detroit Tigers. Through the first half of the season he had an ERA of 0.94 and had scoreless streak of 24 innings, which is longest in Tigers history passing Todd Jones who previously held the record at 22 innings in 2000.
Valverde represented the Tigers at the 2010 All-Star Game along with Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera. Following the All-Star break, he suffered some nagging injuries[quantify], finishing the year with 26 saves and a 3.00 ERA.
On May 8, 2011, Valverde recorded his 200th career save. Valverde was elected to his third All-Star Game, and American League manager Ron Washington selected Valverde to serve as the team's closer.
On September 11, 2011, Valverde recorded his 43rd save of the season, passing Todd Jones as the Tigers' single-season saves leader. His 45th save of the season on September 16 secured the AL Central Division title for the Tigers. On the final day of the regular season he recorded his 49th straight save, completing his perfect regular season. It was his 51st consecutive save opportunity converted since 2010. He won the 2011 MLB Delivery Man of the Year Award and the American League Rolaids Relief Man Award as the most outstanding relief pitcher of the regular season. In 2011, he led AL pitchers in saves, games (75), and games finished (70). Through 2011, he was sixth among all active pitchers in career saves (242).
On October 28, 2011 the Tigers picked up the 2012 club option on Valverde's contract. On opening day, his consecutive save streak ended after blowing a 2–0 lead versus the Boston Red Sox, although he earned the win after the Tigers won, 3–2.
On October 10, 2012, Valverde blew a save against the Oakland Athletics in Game 4 of the 2012 ALDS. The Tigers held a 3–1 lead entering the bottom of the ninth when Valverde entered the game. He gave up three consecutive hits before recording an out in a game the A's eventually won, 4–3.
On October 13, 2012, Valverde blew a lead against the New York Yankees in Game 1 of the 2012 ALCS. The Tigers held a 4–0 lead entering the bottom of the ninth when Valverde entered the game. He gave up a pair of two-run home runs, one by Ichiro Suzuki and the other by Raúl Ibañez, although the Tigers eventually won 6–4 in the twelfth inning.
On October 30, 2012, Valverde became a free agent.
On April 4, 2013, The Tigers signed Valverde to a minor league contract. He pitched in 3 games in Class-A for the Lakeland Flying Tigers. On April 23, the Tigers called him up to the Majors, which necessitated signing him to a new Major League contract. He recorded a save in his first game back with the Tigers on April 24.
Pitching style 
Valverde throws just two pitches, a four-seam fastball (93–96 mph) and a splitter (84–87). He throws a slightly higher percentage of splitters to left-handed hitters. He is comfortable using the pitch in almost all counts, although he throws it most often when it is 0–2 or 1–2. Valverde's control is sometimes spotty, as he has a fairly high[according to whom?] career rate of 3.9 walks per nine innings. This balances a dominating 10.3 strikeouts per nine innings ratio.
Valverde is also known for his energetic, highly emotional style on the mound. He frequently celebrates outs and saves very demonstratively. Some have questioned the sportsmanship of his behavior, including former teammate Miguel Montero of the Arizona Diamondbacks who has called him "unprofessional".
See also 
- Steve Gilbert (June 23, 2003). "Valverde is NL Co-Player of Week". MLB.com. Retrieved April 24, 2013.
- Baseball Almanac (December 23, 2012). "Delivery Man of the Year Award". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved April 24, 2013.
- Rosenthal, Ken. Valverde rejects arbitration offer, Fox Sports. Published December 7, 2009. Retrieved December 8, 2009.
- Valverde, Tigers agree to terms – Deal is for two years, stabilizes back end of bullpen MLB.com January 19, 2010
- http://www.freep.com/article/20100606/SPORTS02/6060518/Valverde-saves-the-day-in-8th[dead link]
- Rosecrans, Trent (July 11, 2011). "Valverde, Wilson to close for All-Star teams". CBS News.
- "Valverde sets Tigers record with 43rd save". Tigers.com. September 11, 2011.
- Schlueter, Roger (September 29, 2011). "Fascinating facts from Wednesday's games". MLB.com (MLB Advanced Media). Archived from the original on September 29, 2011.
- "Jose Valverde Named Winner of the Major League Baseball Delivery Man of the Year Award" (Press release). Major League Baseball. October 5, 2011. Archived from the original on October 5, 2011.
- "2011 Award Winners". rolaidsreliefman.com. McNEIL-PPC, Inc. Archived from the original on April 5, 2012.
- "Jose Valverde Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 7, 2011.
- Brunell, Evan. "Verlander wins AL Cy Young Award unanimously." Article at www.cbssports.com on November 15, 2011. 
- Tigers exercise 2012 team option on Valverde MLB.com October 28, 2011
- "Tigers edge Red Sox after José Valverde blows save". ESPN.com. Associated Press. April 5, 2012. Archived from the original on April 5, 2012.
- "Jose Valverde Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 11 October 2012.
- "Jose Valverde blows save in toughest moment of career". Boston Herald. Associated Press. October 11, 2012. Retrieved 11 October 2012.
- "Another meltdown puts Valverde under scrutiny". MLB. October 14, 2012.
- "Tigers bring back Jose Valverde". Detroit Free Press. April 4, 2013.
- Tigers Sign Jose Valverde
- Schmehl, James (April 25, 2013). "Three stars: Jose Valverde returns to Tigers with save, Victor Martinez breaks out of mini-slump". mlive.com. Retrieved April 25, 2013.
- "Brooks Baseball · Home of the PitchFX Tool – Player Card: Jose Valverde". Brooks Baseball. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
- "Jose Valverde Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
- Ex-mates Montero, Valverde trade barbs MLB.com June 20, 2010
- Jose Valverde rips Miguel Montero, blasts Diamondbacks Arizona Now June 20, 2010
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
|American League Saves Champion
|National League Saves Champion