Cesar Valdez pitched the second inning of the Carolina/California League All-Star game Tuesday night. He retired all three batters he faced: two on strikeouts, and one on a weak grounder to first base on which Valdez himself recorded the putout. Fellow Oaks All-Star Pedro Ciriaco scored the California League's only run, but went 0-for-3 in the contest.
That performance by Valdez capped a tremendous first half from the undersized right-hander who doesn't hit 90 miles per hour on the radar gun. He went 10-3 with a 2.53 ERA in 96 innings, ranking first in the league in wins, second in innings, and third in ERA. His 1.08 WHIP ranked third, while his 5:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio ranked second among California League pitchers. He pitched a five-hit shutout on June 4 against San Jose, hasn't walked more than two batters in any start this season, and hasn't allowed more than two runs in an outing since May 8th.
Still, for Valdez to get the call to Double-A, an unfortunate incident had to
occur. BayBears reliever Matt Elliott landed
on the disabled list for the second time this season. Valdez will
replace Cody Evans in the BayBear rotation. Evans had made three sport
starts for Mobile since former 31st-overall draft pick Matt Torra received a
promotion to Triple-A, and will take over Elliott's bullpen spot for the time
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