DETROIT -- Jose Valverde's road toward a potential return to the Tigers' bullpen officially began Wednesday with a bullpen session on the fields at the Tigertown complex in Lakeland, Fla.
Valverde, signed last week to a Minor League contract, arrived in Florida earlier in the week after visa issues briefly delayed his departure from his native Dominican Republic. He had been throwing bullpen sessions every other day, according to agent Scott Boras, so he was able to throw right away.
From there, Valverde is expected to progress similarly quickly. He's scheduled to throw an inning in an extended spring training game on Friday, followed by one or two innings in a scrimmage game Monday.
At some point, possibly after just a few extended spring appearances, Valverde is expected to get his test at Triple-A Toledo. He has a May 5 opt-out clause if he's not in the Majors, but the Tigers might make a decision well before then.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.