Valdez allowed one run on two hits and one walk while striking out three over 2.1 innings in Thursday's 8-2 loss to Minnesota. The Twins rocked starter Brad Peacock, who was gone after allowing seven runs in 3.2 innings, so Valdez was needed to provide length out of the bullpen. Since rejoining the Astros, Valdez has allowed two runs on five hits and five walks while striking out 10 over 8.2 innings. The key for the left-hander is to throw strikes, manager AJ Hinch told David Barron of the Houston Chronicle. After a shaky three-walk effort against the Rangers in his first appearance following his callup, Valdez has thrown 74 percent of his pitches for strikes (59 of 80).
Valdez was called up from Triple-A Round Rock on Saturday, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports. Valdez cracked Houston's Opening Day roster but made only two appearances over the first two weeks of the season before being sent down. The 25-year-old has been a starter in the minors up until this season, and his transition to a reliever remains a bit of a work in progress.
Valdez will remain in a regimented bullpen role for the next two weeks at Triple-A Round Rock, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports. Valdez was sent down to Round Rock on Thursday after making the Astros' roster as a reliever. There weren't many opportunities in Houston for Valdez, a minor-league starter who is inexperienced as a reliever. Couple that Houston's starters are getting deep into games and Valdez was wasting away in the 'pen. "Most of that is on me, just not wanting to use him as a left-handed reliever until I'm a little more confident that he's going to bounce back," manager AJ Hinch said. "We've played so many close games, and he's been a long guy for us, because we've played so many long games, I've had to keep him out of games in case we had to get to extra innings. He wasn't pitching enough." For now, the Astros have moved Brad Peacock into the long-relief role in the bullpen and called up Reymin Guduan to serve as the lefty reliever capable of getting a couple of outs when needed. That gives the organization space to acclimate Valdez to a more traditional lefty-reliever role in the minors.
Valdez was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock on Thursday, Jake Kaplan of The Athletic reports. Valdez has only appeared twice out of the bullpen this season, allowing two runs in three innings. He could be heading to the minors in order to stretch back out as a starter. A corresponding move is expected to be announced Friday.
Valdez (0-1) allowed two runs on three hits and one walk while striking out three in Tuesday's 6-4 loss to the Rangers. Valdez, a minor-league starter being used as a reliever in the majors, made his season debut Tuesday when the Astros needed length after starter Justin Verlander was chased in the fifth inning. The left-hander worked a scoreless sixth inning but ran into trouble in the seventh. With the pull-happy Joey Gallo at the plate and baserunners on second and third in a tie game, the Astros could not deploy their usual shift against the slugging left-handed batter, who pulled a groundball against a traditional look into right field to plate the go-ahead runs. Valdez will continue to work in a similar role and could be deployed as a spot starter if needed.