Valverde urged to throw more pitchouts

Valverde urged to throw more pitchouts

DETROIT -- Though Ryan Sweeney's game-tying triple ensured Jose Valverde of a blown save Thursday, pinch-runner Darnell McDonald's steal of second was no less of a concern. It's enough that manager Jim Leyland said Valverde will probably have to do more to hold runners.

Opponents stole nine bases in 12 tries against Valverde last year, both career highs for him. That doesn't include the bases that opponents swiped that weren't credited due to catcher's indifference in a two- or three-run game. By comparison, opponents went 3-for-4 in attempted steals against Valverde in 2010.

Leyland says there are a lot of reasons why catchers usually aren't good at holding baserunners.

"I just think they're concentrated on the batter," Leyland said. "They don't pay too much attention to it. A lot of times, a lot of closers haven't had too many guys on."

Still, Leyland said he wants Valverde to throw a pitchout now and then. It might not catch anyone, but it'll provide a deterrent for opponents who really don't have one right now.

"He's going to have to [pitch out]," Leyland said.