Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland wants to lean on right-hander Joaquin Benoit a bit more in the ninth.
It's a challenge that Benoit will gladly welcome.

"I don't mind being a closer," he said. "There's more responsibility being a closer, but that's what that this game is about. That's why I play it."

Leyland told reporters this past weekend that he isn't abandoning the closer-by-committee approach, and reiterated that any of the team's seven relievers could close on any given day.

But, given Benoit's success against both right-handed and left-handed hitters, he could be called upon to take the ball in the ninth inning more often.

"We figure the lefty-righty combination of him being effective against both guys, if rested and available, we would lean that way probably more often," Leyland said.

For the past two seasons, Benoit has been among the best setup men in baseball, recording a combined 59 holds with the Tigers. Only New York's David Robertson has more holds over the last two years.

It's a role Benoit has comfortably dominated the past five seasons, but if given the chance to enter the game in a save situation, he wouldn't think twice.

"I'd like the challenge," he said. "And I'd love to be in the position where I can help the team the most."

Benoit has made three appearances this season, and in each appearance, he has faced at least one batter in the ninth. He faced three Saturday, and retired the side in order.