Monday, July 29, 2013
Impact of Veras to the Tigers
By Jason Catania
The Detroit Tigers finally found a way to address their season-long bullpen issues. Here's how the move helps.
The Tigers acquired Jose Veras, the right-handed closer from the Houston Astros, in exchange for outfield prospect Danry Vasquez and a player to be named, according to Jason Beck of MLB.com.
While Veras was having a successful campaign as a first-time closer -- he sports a 2.93 ERA and 19 saves -- the 32-year-old is expected to help Detroit in a setup role rather than in the ninth inning, which belongs to Joaquin Benoit.
Benoit, of course, stepped up and took over the closer role midseason after the Tigers decided they'd had enough of the struggling Jose Valverde (again).
The Tigers already have the underrated Drew Smyly (1.77 ERA) on the left side, and even though fellow southpaw Phil Coke hasn't been good (5.46 ERA), he was arguably the club's top reliever down the stretch and during the run to the 2012 World Series.
The bigger problem, then, especially since having to shift Benoit to closer role, is that nobody has stepped up to handle his former job as the main righty setup man. Sure, there's Al Alburquerque and rookie Bruce Rondon but they're as enigmatic as they are hard-throwing.
That's where Veras comes in handy. He's been great against both lefty and righty hitters this season, but he's been especially dominating against same-sided batters, holding them to a .160/.250/.307 triple-slash line.
As another plus for Detroit, Veras has a $3.25 million club option for 2014.
On Houston's side of things, the expectation is that rookie Jose Cisnero, a 24-year-old righty with a 3.48 ERA and an 8.7 K/9, is the frontrunner for saves.