doesnt seem like there is any new info than what was available yesterday.
Valverde out, Julio in - for now
Nick Piecoro The Arizona Republic May. 31, 2006 12:00 AM
NEW YORK - It appears Jose Valverde has lost his closer's job - at least for now - although manager Bob Melvin wasn't ready to come out and say it on Tuesday.
Melvin said right-hander Jorge Julio was his closer if needed on Tuesday night, but wouldn't commit beyond that.
But that Melvin wasn't backing Valverde, who has allowed runs in five straight appearances with two blown saves, seems to say it all. advertisement
"I just want him to take a mental break (Tuesday)," Melvin said. "We'll discuss where we're going from here in the next day or so."
Melvin was asked whether demotions such as those to Houston's Brad Lidge or Seattle's Eddie Guardado can be beneficial for a pitcher in the long run.
"Yeah, I think so," he said. "The ninth inning of a game, it's a one-run game, you can't afford to go in there and work on things. So, yeah, I think there is some benefit to something like that, at times. Whether or not that happens (with Valverde), we'll see. I'm not prepared to have a definitive answer on that right now."
Melvin said he had spoken with Valverde.
"We talked about where we think we're going," he said, "but I'm not prepared to talk about that yet."
Julio, acquired last week from the New York Mets for pitcher Orlando Hernandez, closed games for Baltimore for parts of three seasons.
"Whenever the manager gives it to me, I'll take it," he said. "I'm ready to go. I don't like setting up. I like closing games."