After manager Jim Leyland announced Thursday that Joaquin Benoit would pitch the ninth inning when "healthy and available," the Tigers designated Jose Valverde for assignment Friday.

Valverde has struggled in his last eight outings, allowing 11 earned runs in 7 1/3 innings with two blown saves. In the ninth inning Wednesday against the Orioles in a non-save situation, he gave up four earned runs in 10 pitches.

The Tigers have 10 days to either trade Valverde, release him or outright him to the Minor Leagues. Valverde would have to clear waivers and accept an assignment in order to be outrighted.

"We have asked him if he would go to Triple-A for us and try to work with him there, try to get him straightened out," Tigers president/general manager Dave Dombrowski said. "We feel that's something we could accomplish there, if we were going to accomplish it, easier than here. It's a very difficult situation to fix that here with his arm angle. We're trying to get his split back."

The Tigers signed Valverde as a free agent on April 4 before bringing him up to the Majors on April 24. He had a 0.75 ERA in his first 12 appearances.