Valverde makes first outing at Triple-A

Valverde makes first outing at Triple-A

Valverde makes first outing at Triple-A

CLEVELAND -- Jose Valverde made his debut at Triple-A Toledo on Thursday by retiring the side in order in the ninth inning to finish out a 7-0 Mud Hens win. It marked his first outing since accepting an outright assignment to Toledo last week.

Valverde threw 12 pitches, six of them for strikes. He topped out at 94 mph on his fastball, according to the Toledo Blade, while mixing in three splitters.

"For me, he threw strikes," Hens manager Phil Nevin told The Blade. "He threw a couple of split-fingers that moved out of the zone, which you like to see."

Valverde's outing came after he told the Detroit Free Press that he anticipated being at Toledo for no more than two or three weeks to work out his pitches. The Tigers haven't publicly put a timetable on it, nor have they given any assurance that Valverde might be back.

What happens with Valverde might have as much to do with the success of the bullpen in Detroit, which manager Jim Leyland has said he's finally got in order over the last couple days.

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.