The Detroit Tigers made a deadline deal for Jose Veras this season to help bolster the bullpen down the stretch. And bolster it he did. He did have a rough patch in September but certainly not long enough to permanantly place him in the dog house. He even recovered nicely pitching in 1 1/3 innings with surrendering a run in the last week of the season.
But in Game 2 of the ALDS, Leyland turned to Al Alburquerque and Rick Porcello in the bottom of the ninth with the game scoreless. Alburquerque struck out two the previous inning but by Jim Leyland’s own admission using Alburquerque in the 9th was a stretch.
Then with the bases loaded and with nobody out, Leyland turned to Porcello to”get a ground ball” instead of using Veras to try to get a strikeout. He got his ground ball but it squirted through the infield for a game walk-off hit.
The curious thing about this is in the postseason Jose Veras has not been used in the 8th inning. Or any other innings for that matter.
In fact, he wasn’t even asked to warm up.
So what is wrong with Jose Veras? By all accounts nothing. There is no reported injury, he is on the playoff roster and he has not been suspended. So why won’t Jim Leyland use Jose Veras? That is a question only the skipper can answer.
Today’s game will be very telling for Jose Veras and his standing in the bullpen. Leyland has used Drew Symly the last two games and although he has had a day to rest, Leyland normally doesn’t use Smyly three games in a row. So will Leyland use Veras in the eighth inning today if the game is on the line? We will have to wait and see. But there is really no reason he shouldn’t.