Tag:Wilson Valdez
Posted on: January 17, 2012 12:54 pm
Edited on: January 17, 2012 2:23 pm
 

Hamels avoids arbitration, Lincecum doesn't

Cole Hamels signed a new contract Tuesday. Tim Lincecum didn't.

Hamels will get $15 million plus performance bonuses from the Phillies. Lincecum will exchange arbitration numbers with the Giants.

And none of that changes the big picture, because neither Hamels nor Lincecum has a new long-term contract yet.

As of now, Hamels is still eligible for free agency after the 2012 season. Lincecum is eligible after 2013.

And both can (and certainly will) continue to discuss long-term deals that will keep them off the market.

Hamels, who made $9.5 million in 2011, agreed to 2012 contract just before the deadline for arbitration-eligible players to exchange contract figures with their teams. Lincecum will go through the arbitration process, although he and the Giants can continue to work on a deal while awaiting a hearing.

According to CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman, Hamels' new deal also would pay him $100,000 if he's named the Most Valuable Player, $250,000 if he wins the Cy Young Award, $100,000 for World Series MVP and $50,000 each for LCS MVP, Gold Glove, Silver Slugger or an All-Star appearance.

Tuesday was a deadline day for some teams that have a policy of not continuing negotiations after arbitration numbers are exchanged.






Posted on: May 26, 2011 2:31 pm
Edited on: May 26, 2011 2:58 pm
 

DatDudeBP was DatGoat for Reds

PHILADELPHIA -- On one side, the longest game of the year was all about Wilson Valdez.

Great story.

On the other side, it was all about Brandon Phillips.

Not so great story.

Valdez is the utility man who pitched a hitless 19th inning for the Phillies in the early hours of Thursday morning, becoming (according to the Elias Sports Bureau) the first player since Babe Ruth to start a game in the field and end up winning it on the mound.

Phillips is the sometimes spectacular Reds second baseman who spent the hours after the game apologizing to Reds fans for getting picked off at a key moment in the 11th inning.

The Reds had runners at first and second, Phillies pitcher J.C. Romero was struggling to throw strikes, and cleanup hitter Scott Rolen was at the plate with a 3-1 count. Phillips, on second base, got caught talking to Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins, and Romero picked him off.

Reds manager Dusty Baker said Phillips apologized when he returned to the dugout.

After the game, Phillips, who tweets regularly and sometimes amusingly under the name @DatDudeBP, wrote on Twitter: "I want 2 apologize 2 all the #Reds fans 4 my mistake tonite. It was my fault 4 the loss, but I will keep my head up and get ready 4 the next game."

Asked Thursday morning if he planned to talk to Phillips about the play, Baker said: "I don't have to talk to him. The whole world is talking to him. All the great things Brandon has done, that [pickoff] could be shown for years. I still see [Jose] Canseco getting hit in the head."

Meanwhile, Valdez was back in the Phillies lineup for Thursday's day game, playing third base. He got a standing ovation when he came to the plate in the second inning.

A few other noteworthy developments on Thursday:

-- Baker said that had the Phillies not scored in the 19th, shortstop Paul Janish would have pitched the 20th inning for the Reds. He planned to put outfielder Chris Heisey at second base, move Phillips to shortstop, and insert pitcher Sam LeCure in the outfield. He said LeCure and Jay Bruce would have alternated between left and right field, depending on which hitter was at the plate.

-- LeCure and Matt Maloney were in the Reds bullpen, but both were unavailable to pitch because of heavy workloads early in the week. The Reds put Maloney on the disabled list Thursday, and called up Daryl Thompson. The Phillies also made a roster move, sending Daniel Herndon to Triple-A and activating Jose Contreras from the DL, but that was planned.

-- Since Valdez was in the game, he didn't warm up in the bullpen before pitching. Bullpen coach Mickey Billmeyer quipped: "He's a reliever, but he's not a bullpen guy."

-- One Phillies executive joked, "We can go with 11 pitchers now, because we have Valdez." But Phils PR man Greg Casterioto admitted he missed a chance, when he didn't list Valdez in the bullpen section on his daily notes.


Posted on: May 26, 2011 2:26 am
Edited on: May 26, 2011 2:27 am
 

The best (19th inning) pitcher in the game

PHILADELPHIA -- Roy Halladay didn't no-hit the Reds.

Wilson Valdez did.

Roy Halladay didn't make this game memorable. Wilson Valdez did.

No one will ever forget the night Halladay no-hit the Reds in the playoffs. And no one will ever forget the night (early morning?) that Valdez no-hit the Reds in the 19th inning.

I know this much: The next time Halladay pitches against the Reds at Citizens Bank Park, I'm there. And you should be, too.

The first time he faced them, Reds starter Travis Wood took a perfect game to the ninth inning. The next time he faced them, Halladay made like Don Larsen.

And Wednesday night -- early Thursday morning -- Valdez made like . . . Roy Halladay?

Well, sort of.

Halladay is the best pitcher in baseball. He has 175 career wins, and a 3.29 career ERA.

Valdez is a utility infielder, who last pitched in some town game in the Dominican Republic, nine years ago. And he now has a 1-0 career record, and a 0.00 career ERA.

He got Joey Votto, Jay Bruce and Carlos Fisher in the top of the 19th, and Raul Ibanez's sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 19th made the Phillies -- and Valdez -- a 5-4 winner in one of the craziest games you'll ever see.

And Wilson Valdez was absolutely the star.

"He's wanted to pitch for a while," said Dane Sardinha, who caught him. "Now I'm sure he'll want to even more. But I'd hang it up right now if I were him. Perfect record."

Valdez was having none of that.

"Anytime they need me," he said.

And why not? He threw one pitch at 90 mph, most of the others at 88-89.

"That's better than some guys," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said.

Manuel hates the idea of using a position player to pitch. He said he'd never done it. But he ran out of pitchers, Danys Baez had already thrown 73 pitches (easily the most he'd thrown since he became a reliever eight years ago), and Manuel decided it would be too risky to use one of his other starting pitchers.

So Valdez it was, in the 19th inning, at 1 o'clock in the morning.

At first base, Ryan Howard told Reds coach Billy Hatcher, "If he throws anything like he throws it [across the infield] to me, he'll be nasty out there, because he throws sinkers."

Behind the plate, Sardinha put down one finger for a fastball, over and over. Valdez tried to shake him off ("I thought, what is he about to throw," Howard said), but Sardinha put down one finger again.

Votto flied out to center field, but then Valdez called his catcher to the mound. Actually, two catchers, because Carlos Ruiz was playing third base, and he joined the conversation, as well.

"He told me he wanted to throw his other pitches," a disbelieving Sardinha said. "Then he hit [Scott] Rolen with a slider."

In the stands, where a surprising number of fans remained, the crowd got as loud as it had in hours.

"Let's go Wilson!" they chanted. "Wil-son! Wil-son!"

Sardinha -- and Valdez -- went back to the fastball to get Bruce and Fisher, the final Reds pitcher, who threw 95 pitches in 5 2/3 innings and was in the game long enough to get two at-bats.

Then the Phillies scored, and the game was over, just 6 hours, 11 minutes after it began.

"It was a grind," Howard said. "But we got a new spark of life when Wilson went out there."

Valdez was the happiest Phillie around, even happier when a reporter told him he was clocked at 90 mph.

He admitted that he went to the mound with no pressure ("I just thought, throw a strike, because if [Votto] hits a home run, they're not going to say anything. He's a tough hitter.").

He said he was ready to keep pitching if the Phillies didn't score in the bottom of the 19th.

"I could go three more, four more, whatever," he said. "This is something I'm never going to forget."

I'm with him on that. And if you saw it, I'm guessing you are, too.

*****

Two more memorable lines from a memorable night:

Sardinha, on whether Valdez had good stuff: "I told him he did, but it was [just] all right. He had a good sinker, and that was it."

Baez, on his 16th-inning at-bat, when he struck out: "I put on the wrong helmet. I put on a helmet to hit left-handed, and I thought, 'There's something wrong.' And I forgot to put pine tar on the bat."

Manuel, on Valdez: "I put him in against the heart of the order, [to] see what he's got. I think he passed the test."

Posted on: March 9, 2011 2:58 pm
Edited on: March 9, 2011 3:00 pm
 

Without Utley, Phils' lineup has a big hole

LAKELAND, Fla. -- The problem for the Phillies isn't finding someone who can take over for Chase Utley at second base.

No, the problem is finding someone who can do what Utley does at the plate. The problem is finding someone who can drive in 100 runs and score 100 runs.

Good luck.

The Phillies still don't know how long they'll be without Utley, who hasn't played this spring because of what they've described as patellar tendinitis in his right knee. But the club announced Wednesday morning that "additional opinions" will be sought, and it's clearer than ever that Utley could miss significant time.

That likely means Wilson Valdez plays second base, at least in the short term. The Phillies could still add another utility infield type, and perhaps they could even make a bigger trade, although right now a deal for someone like Michael Young seems highly unlikely.

Valdez filled in well at shortstop last year when Jimmy Rollins was hurt, and he also started 35 games at third base in place of Utley last year. But if Valdez can capably fill the vacancy at second base, there's no way he can take Utley's place in the Phillies' offense.

Without Utley, as Manuel pointed out, the Phillies are missing their third- and fifth-place hitters from last year. Jayson Werth, of course, left last winter as a free agent.

Manuel hit Placido Polanco in the third spot in Wednesday's spring game against the Tigers. He said he has told Polanco that he'll also hit fifth at times.

Polanco is a quality hitter, one of the best No. 2 hitters in the game. But he has never driven in 100 runs in a season in his career, and only once scored 100 runs in a season.

Manuel listed Raul Ibanez and Jimmy Rollins as two other candidates to hit third. But Rollins is the Phillies' leadoff hitter, and Manuel isn't sure he wants to take Rollins out of that role.

As Manuel said, "It'd be better and easier if [Utley] is in there."

And that may be why Manuel is holding out hope that Utley will recover quickly.

"We've still got time," he said Wednesday.

They still have time. Right now, though, they still don't have Chase Utley.


Posted on: October 6, 2010 1:54 pm
Edited on: October 6, 2010 4:11 pm
 

Phils open playoffs without Polanco

PHILADELPHIA -- Placido Polanco is out of the Phillies lineup for today's playoff opener with the Reds.

Manager Charlie Manuel said Polanco has a back problem, and that Wilson Valdez will start at third base instead. Manuel described the problem as stiffness in the middle back, and said Polanco came to him and told him he wasn't able to play.

General manager Ruben Amaro said the Phillies are hopeful that Polanco will be ready to play in time for Game 2 on Friday night.

"He may be ready by the end of the day today," Amaro said. "He's in [the clubhouse] getting treatment."

The Phillies have dealt with injuries all year. All four of their infielders spent time on the disabled list, and Valdez played 59 games at shortstop in place of Jimmy Rollins. Valdez also played seven games at third base this year, but he has played only 17 games at third in his major-league career (and only four games in his 11-year minor-league career).

The Phillies signed Polanco as a free agent last winter, and he had a very good season. In addition to being one of the best second-spot hitters in baseball, he played better than anticipated defensively at third base.

 
 
 
 
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