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Wilson Valdez

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SPORTS
May 28, 2011
NEW YORK - As if being mentioned in the same sentence as Babe Ruth wasn't cool enough, Wilson Valdez is going to the Hall of Fame now. Actually, only the cap that Valdez wore as the winning pitcher in Wednesday's 19-inning game is headed for Cooperstown, but it is still an incredible achievement for a 33-year-old journeyman from the Dominican Republic who had never played more than 51 games in a season until last year. He became the first player to start a game in the field and win it as a pitcher since Ruth did it 90 years ago. Valdez flashed a huge smile when asked about the cap. Pitching coach Rich Dubee laughed.
SPORTS
February 17, 2011 | By Matt Gelb and Bob Brookover, Inquirer Staff Writers
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Nothing is guaranteed, but this is still a novel concept for Wilson Valdez. He will spend spring training in the same complex two years in a row. "It's the same," Valdez said. "I can just come here to prepare myself. " For a 32-year-old who has spent time with nine organizations, this opportunity is rare. He played in a career-high 111 games in 2010, was referred to as a "godsend" by a Phillies executive, and even started a postseason game. Life is good for Wilson Valdez.
SPORTS
August 23, 2011 | BY DAVID MURPHY, dmurphy@phillynews.com
UNTIL his first at-bat against the Nationals on Sunday, the 2011 season had been everything Jimmy Rollins had hoped. Rollins, who played only 88 games last season because of a variety of lower-body injuries, was hitting .268 with a .342 on-base percentage, .402 slugging percentage, 14 home runs and 28 stolen bases. He had missed three starts because of injury this year, all of them in early June after he fouled a ball off his knee. Then came Sunday, when he pushed out of the batter's box to run out a ground ball in the first inning and felt his groin pull.
SPORTS
May 18, 2010 | By PAUL HAGEN, hagenp@phillynews.com
Lefthander J.A. Happ, on the disabled list with a left forearm strain, was pleased with his progress after a 20-pitch bullpen session yesterday afternoon. "That's the best I've felt in a month," he said. Rich Dubee was guardedly optimistic, but pointed out that the 2009 National League Rookie of the Year runner-up seemed to be progressing earlier before suffering a setback. "It went fine. Just fastballs. Much better than last time, probably about 3 weeks ago," the pitching coach said.
SPORTS
April 1, 2011
Combination lock: Shortstop Jimmy Rollins is the longest-tenured Phillie since making his major league debut in September 2000. Since then, his doubleplay partner has been Chase Utley the majority of the time. But did you know that Rollins has played next to 20 other second basemen for at least an inning during his Phillies career? The others, according to Baseball-Reference.com: Marlon Anderson, Kevin Jordan, David Newhan, Felipe Crespo, Tomas Perez, Nick Punto, David Bell, Placido Polanco, Matt Kata, Ramon Martinez, Abraham Nunez, Danny Sandoval, Joe Thurston, Greg Dobbs, Tad Iguchi, Eric Bruntlett, Miguel Cairo, Juan Castro, Cody Ransom and Wilson Valdez.
SPORTS
March 2, 2011 | By DAVID MURPHY, dmurphy@phillynews.com
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Chase Utley is on the mend. How mended he might be, and when fans might see him in a Grapefruit League game, are matters that remain unclear. The tendinitis-plagued second baseman still isn't running hard or doing fielding work, two activities that have been hampered by the soreness in his right knee. "He's hitting and things like that," said manager Charlie Manuel, who added that head athletic trainer Scott Sheridan informed him that Utley is "coming along fine.
SPORTS
March 4, 2011 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
FORT MYERS, Fla. - Chase Utley has not resumed running or fielding since being shut down six days ago with patellar tendinitis, and his status remains the same, according to Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. Is that bad news? "It's not good news or bad news," Amaro said Thursday. "It's same news. " Utley continues to take batting practice because the condition in his right knee does not bother him when he is swinging a bat. But any sustained movement has been banned by the Phillies doctors so Utley can rest the knee in hopes of reducing the pain for later.
SPORTS
April 13, 2011
WASHINGTON - The overspecialized, travel-teamed, AAU-ification of sports is our current American reality. Seeing as how the players have never been better, in everything, it is hard to argue with the results. At the same time, though, it seems almost quaint to hear Wilson Valdez tell his story. It is so different. He grew up in the Dominican Republic, in a placed called Nizao. "We were really poor," he said. "We were glad we had something to eat every day. That was the only thing that mattered, that we had something to eat. " Valdez, sitting in a major league clubhouse, talked easily about how he appreciates the contrast from then to now. He continues to fill in for Chase Utley at second base for the Phillies.
SPORTS
May 27, 2011 | By Bob Brookover, Inquirer Staff Writer
The baseball was stuffed inside Wilson Valdez's locker, and the memory was indelibly implanted in his head. Just a few hours after becoming the first Phillies position player to earn a pitching victory in nearly 66 years, Valdez was back at Citizens Bank Park Thursday morning and in the lineup at third base for the series finale with the Cincinnati Reds. When he stepped to the plate for his first at-bat in the second inning, he was greeted with a standing ovation, the final tribute for his unlikely mound work during the Phillies' 5-4, 19-inning victory over the Reds that started Wednesday night and ended Thursday at 1:19 a.m. Valdez, 33, said pitching a scoreless inning by retiring reigning National League MVP Joey Votto and Jay Bruce, the current league leader in home runs, was the highlight of his journeyman career.
SPORTS
May 27, 2011
Tale of two pitchers Nobody tell 1-0 Phillies ace Wilson Valdez , but making a living hurling a baseball can be tough. Cases in point: Baltimore's Jake Arrieta and Kansas City's Luke Hochevar . On Wednesday night, Arrieta allowed two runs and five hits in six innings, struck out seven, and walked three but failed to post a perfect inning and got the hook after 106 pitches. "He's fortunate to get through six innings. He worked himself into some trouble," O's manager Buck Showalter said.
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SPORTS
April 28, 2014 | By Marc Narducci, Inquirer Staff Writer
ALLENTOWN - Reliever Jeremy Horst seemed to turn his career around with a stellar closing to the 2012 season with the Phillies. After beginning 2013 in the major leagues, he saw his year end with an elbow injury. Now the lefthander is attempting to work his way back to the majors while pitching for triple-A Lehigh Valley. The 28-year-old Horst is still shaking off the rust during the first month. In eight relief appearances entering the weekend, he had a 3.38 ERA with 13 strikeouts and three walks over eight innings.
SPORTS
February 20, 2014 | By David Murphy, Daily News Staff Writer
CLEARWATER, Fla. - The three scariest words in sports are probably, "We signed Bynum. " But a close runner-up is "Dr. James Andrews. " At least, that is, among major league baseball players, a group to whom Jeremy Horst still considers himself a member, even if much of the rest of the world has forgotten. When you consider Andrews' reputation, Horst's anonymity this spring makes some sense. The 28-year-old lefty visited the renowned elbow specialist last July after a monthlong stay on the disabled list failed to reduce the pain in his pitching arm. And because Andrews' name has such a close mental association with "12 to 18 months," it might surprise some people to learn that Horst not only threw off a mound Friday afternoon, but looked sharp doing so. "My thoughts right now are just come in, handle the things I can control and pitch well," Horst said.
SPORTS
March 12, 2013 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
KISSIMMEE, Fla. - Jeremy Horst needed to throw, but the Wisconsin air was too cold. His trusted gym in Green Bay was under new ownership. He embarked on a search for a winter baseball solution in the football town. First, Horst found a gym with six tennis courts that was big enough for him to reach 180 feet in long toss. The Phillies lefthander asked the club's instructor when he could throw. It usually was available at 9 p.m., which was a problem for Horst, father of two young children.
SPORTS
February 19, 2013 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
CLEARWATER, Fla. - A spring-training mystery: Although there are three intriguing and attractive options, the identity of the starting pitcher for Opening Day is unknown. Whether it's Roy Halladay (who has started 10 straight Opening Days), Cliff Lee or Cole Hamels (who has never started on Opening Day), they'll be throwing to Erik Kratz on April 1 in Atlanta. Barring injury, Kratz, who had played in just 11 major league games before last year, when he played in 50, will be the Phillies' catcher on Opening Day. Another spring-training mystery: Although the Phillies don't have a shortage of catching prospects, they don't have an obvious backup, major league catcher.
SPORTS
February 8, 2013 | By David Murphy, Daily News Staff Writer
This is the final part of a four-part series by David Murphy looking at the Phillies as they head into spring training. Today: The bench. FOR MOST of the last 5 years, the Phillies' bench has consisted of well-defined roles: The righthanded-hitting reserve outfielder (So Taguchi, Ben Francisco, John Mayberry Jr.). The lefthanded-hitting corner infielder/outfielder (Greg Dobbs, Ross Gload). The lefty slugger (Matt Stairs, Jim Thome). The utility man (Eric Bruntlett, Juan Castro, Wilson Valdez)
SPORTS
October 4, 2012 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
WASHINGTON - There are no guarantees in this game, a principle that 25-year-old Domonic Brown learned quite well. He's been labeled an untouchable, a bust, and a starter. That latest designation came July 31, when the Phillies traded away two-thirds of their starting outfield. Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Brown would head into 2013 all but assured of a starting job. "We've seen some stuff like that happen before in the past," Brown said. "You have to be ready to go. " At times during the last two months, Brown was not ready to go. He has played through pain in both his knees since June.
SPORTS
September 28, 2012 | By David Murphy, Daily News Staff Writer
IT HAS BEEN SAID a time or two that baseball is a game of failure, so much so that a man can find himself conditioned to expect it. Take Charlie Manuel. On Wednesday afternoon, the Phillies manager sat on a dugout bench and shooed away questions about the latest story line to emerge from the backstretch of a largely forgettable season. It isn't that Manuel dislikes Darin Ruf. Hell, he'd like the IRS if the IRS could hit home runs. But Manuel also knows that Ruf would not be the first rookie to disappear after an early flash.
SPORTS
August 22, 2012 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer
SHORTLY AFTER the home clubhouse opened at Citizens Bank Park on Monday afternoon, a pack of reporters slowly swarmed to the corner locker at the front of the room. If someone had told you a month ago that Kevin Frandsen would be fielding questions about coming out of the starting lineup for the first time in 3 weeks, you would have likely asked them why they were talking about the Triple A Lehigh Valley IronPigs. But in the last 3 weeks, Frandsen has established himself as a capable body at third base.
SPORTS
August 21, 2012
One of the most beloved Phillies infielders of all time returned to Citizens Bank Park on Monday night in a Cincinnati Reds uniform. Scott Rolen was back in town, too. This was Wilson Valdez's first appearance here since general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. traded the sure-handed utility man to the Reds for pitcher Jeremy Horst just a few weeks before the start of spring training. Valdez, 34, was loudly applauded before his ninth-inning pinch-hit appearance. He won the hearts and minds of Phillies fans during his two seasons with the team, but the obsessive concern after the January trade with the Reds was still somewhat startling.
SPORTS
August 13, 2012 | By Bob Brookover, Inquirer Staff Writer
Silver linings and gray hairs have a lot in common. You never really want to be looking for either one, but sometimes that's all you have, so you pull them out and examine them. In this, the season of mounting losses and unmet expectations, the Phillies have found their silver linings from some guys who were not even here at the beginning of the year. One of them came through with a game-tying home run Sunday afternoon, and the other picked up his first major-league victory as the Phillies finished a nine-game homestand with an 8-7, 11-inning victory over the St. Louis Cardinals at Citizens Bank Park.
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