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Valverde Impressive in Lakeland Debut

Papa Grande was impressive in his first outing

LAKELAND, FL -- Friday evening, former Detroit Tigers' closer Jose Valverde toed the slab for the Lakeland Flying Tigers. Signed to a minor-league contract on April 4th, the right-hander they call Papa Grande tossed a scoreless inning of relief, dialing his fastball up to the mid-90's. What else did Valverde show?

Working predominately with his fastball, Jose Valverde threw seven of his 12-pitches for strikes. He allowed one walk and zero hits, striking out one. After a significant drop in velocity late last season, Valverde lit up the radar gun, tormenting Dunedin Blue Jays' batters. Valverde's fastball had solid movement, sitting between 93 mph and 95 mph, touching 96 mph four times on the stadium gun...

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