A single one-inning pitching performance made Wilson Valdez a cult hero in Philadelphia. Accordingly when Wilson Valdez was traded this offseason for left-handed reliever Jeremy Horst, widespread irrational panic broke out among Phillies fans. Despite our Mike Frohwirth explaining that Wilson Valdez is not good at baseball at all, people worried about the Phillies chances with any other backup infielder.
Bleacher Report's Mike Angelina (who I believe is a 94 WIP producer) devoted a slideshow to the "Phillies Trade News: 10 Reasons the Phillies Will Regret Trading Wilson Valdez".
"The team will not miss Valdez, they will just miss parts of him. Because of that, there will be some regret that he is gone."
Oh, okay, makes sense, right?
Looking for more Wilson Valdez comments, I found another Mike Angelina piece, this time on CBSPhilly.com with "Phillies Likely Made a Mistake Dumping Wilson Valdez and Ben Francisco". He expressed similar regret but this time that Valdez will be missed as a pinch-hitter.
"The way the roster likely shakes up, baring another move, Nix is joined on the bench by Jim Thome and Brian Schneider, likely as well as either Scott Podesdnik or Juan Pierre and maybe Pete Orr. Including Nix, they’re all left handed. They really do not have a real move to make in this in-game scenario.
Why is this? They traded Ben Francisco and Wilson Valdez, and for all intents and purposes, in exchange for nothing."
The "nothing" the Phillies got back has been one of the Phillies most effective relievers. Horst is 1-0 with a 1.06 ERA in 16 games for the Phillies. Horst could be a part of the Phillies' bullpen for years to come. Valdez, meanwhile, on his seventh team in seven years, is hitting .205 with a .232 on base percentage. His OPS is .459.
I'm not sure the team misses Valdez as a baseball player, but when he comes up tonight as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning to weakly ground into a double play and help Michael Schwimer get out of a difficult inning, please give him a friendly round of applause in appreciation for his one inning as a relief pitcher in 2011.
Reminisce with Sarge's interview from the famous 19-inning game.