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Tigers | Splitter key to Jose Valverde's success

Detroit Tigers RP Jose Valverde's fastball has been key to his success this season as he returns to the closer's role in Detroit. "That's most important for him," MLB analyst Orel Hershiser said. "To just be able to throw that fastball low and away for a strike." Of Valverde's 57 pitches he's thrown in four outings so far, he's thrown only six split-finger fastballs. He threw 18.7 percent splitters last season, which was down from 20.5 percent in 2011. Manager Jim Leyland noted that Valverde's split got away from him late last season when he was struggling, but he thinks he can regain control of the pitch. MLive.com's James Schmehl suggests Valverde might not be throwing the splitter that much right now because he's still trying to gain control of it and because the weather has been cold.

2013-05-09 11:03:24 | Source: MLive.com - James Schmehl

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