Brayan Villarreal is a 25 year old, hard thrower from Venezuela. This year V has an ERA of 1.95, FIP of 2.57, and a xFIP of 3.62. His xFIP is so high because his HR rate is an unsustainable 0.49/9 and his HR/FB is only 4.5 %. Even so, his numbers are among the best in the Tigers bullpen. Last year V had an ERA of 6.75 in 16 innings but his xFIP was 4.49 because of a fluky number of homers allowed.
This year some Tigers fans have said that V gets too amped up in some pressure situations and this is true. However after looking at his gamelogs he has pitched in many close games and except for a few instances he has pitched well. Villarreal has also struck out 11.68 per 9 this year and walked about 4.14 per 9. That walk rate is pretty high for a bullpen guy but the strikeouts make up for it. Also Jim Leyland has been quoted many times saying that V is a little guy and he is very fragile. However with good mechanics which Villarreal has he can definitely avoid injury.
The reason I wrote this is for the 2013 season. I don't support Valverde being resigned because of his declining peripherals and his salary would stop us form adding a couple more pieces for the lineup and bench.
Candidates for 2013 Closer
Joaquin Benoit: Benoit has stated several times that he feels more comfortable not closing. Verdict : No
Phil Coke: With his severe splits I say no way and I think Jim Leyland would agree. Verdict: No
Al Albuquerque: This might be an interesting choice but I don't think so. Verdict: No
Bruce Rondon: Probably a September call-up. Let him get used to the show and let him be the 7th inning guy next year. Verdict : Probably not.
Daniel Schlereth: Haha no. Verdict: Ha, no
Brayan Villarreal: Another interesting candidate. I don't think Leyland will go for this until V proves that he won't get too excited/amped up. If he can get his walks down a little bit too I say this is the guy for the job. Verdict: Possibly.
Now you guys vote.
Who should be the Tigers closer in 2013?
Brayan Villarreal (15 votes)
Jose V (16 votes)
Joaquin "The Dream" Benoit (16 votes)
Coke (1 vote)
AlAl (12 votes)
Someone else. Post in comments. (30 votes)
90 total votes