Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland told reporters -- including Jason Beck of MLB.com -- that the team will turn to right-handed reliever Joaquin Benoit "to pitch the ninth" moving forward.
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Leyland basically named Benoit his closer without actually using the term. He added using Benoit in that role is "not going to be doable every day," as we're "liable to see anybody at any time." Still, the veteran skipper feels the right-hander is "experienced and versatile enough against righties and lefties" to handle ninth-inning duties.
While Leyland said he feels comfortable closing a game with Benoit "anytime," he added that he will not use the veteran for three consecutive days or for more than one inning.
It's been an eventful start to the season for the Tigers bullpen. This spring, rookie Bruce Rondon was expected to fill the role of closer. However, the team ultimately started the season using a committee system to pitch the ninth. Detroit has even gone as far as re-signing their previous closer -- Jose Valverde -- to a minor league contract.