When Jimmy Rollins exited a game against the Marlins last week after aggravating his hamstring, it was time for Wilson Valdez to take over at shortstop. Valdez has been in the starting lineup ever since, but that hasn’t been a big deal for him.
Valdez has spelled Rollins for much of the season since the Phillies’ catalyst has been injured for a healthy part of 2010. Few could have guessed that Valdez would be in such a position when the season started. However, the soft-spoken Dominican has been a super-sub. After starting the season in Triple-A, Valdez aced out journeyman Juan Castro, who had a $700,000 contract. The Phillies ate about half of that to keep Valdez.
“I’m thankful for the chance to play so much this year,” Valdez said. “All I want to do is help the team as much as possible.”
Valdez, 32, has played in a career-high 96 games this year. His batting average has hovered around the .240 mark and his defense has been solid.
“Wilson has played well enough to be here,” Phils skipper Charlie Manuel said.
“There’s no doubt about that. It’s never a good thing when Jimmy [Rollins] is out of the lineup, but Wilson has helped us deal with that situation.
Valdez, who played sparingly during stints with the Mariners, White Sox and Mets, has 12 doubles and 29 RBIs.
“I just try to do as much as I can when I’m called upon to play,” Valdez said. “That’s my job. I prepare as good as I can and when I get to come in, I just do my best. This is a great team to be a part of.”