Cesar Valdez Named SL Pitcher of the Week

Cesar Valdez gets much-deserved recognition for his fantastic pitching by winning the Southern League Pitcher of the Week Award. It is the fifth such award he has won in his career and his third this season.

MOBILE, AL - For the first time this season, a BayBear pitcher has been bestowed Southern League Pitcher of the Week as Cesar Valdez attains the honor after his 10-strikeout performance last Friday against the Jacksonville Suns.

Valdez became the first BayBear pitcher this season to fan 10 batters in a ballgame when he hurled seven scoreless innings in Jacksonville, leading the BayBears to a 2-0 victory. Valdez started the ballgame by striking out the first two batters he faced and ended in a flurry of Ks by whiffing six of the last eight Suns he encountered. It was the second 10-strikeout performance for Valdez this season, as he also turned the trick against Inland Empire, another Dodgers' affiliate, on April 16.

It's been a breakout season for Valdez, who began his campaign in the California League with the Visalia Oaks. In 15 Hi-A starts, Valdez posted a 10-3 record with a 2.53 ERA, earning an invite to the California vs. Carolina League All-Star Game. His victory last Friday was his first as a BayBear, but he's pitched well in his five starts with a 2.54 ERA and 28 punchouts in 28.1 innings.

Valdez entered the Diamondbacks' system after being signed as undrafted free agent on May 2, 2005 . He spent his first year in the Dominican Summer League and worked up a 2.59 ERA in 20 relief outings. He was converted into a starter upon entering the 2006 season with Yakima , where he went 7-5 with a 3.15 ERA. He posted a 3.41 mark last season as a South Bend Silver Hawk in the Midwest League.

Valdez takes the mound next on Thursday at Hank Aaron Stadium against the Tennessee Smokies in the finale of their five-game series. For more information on the Mobile BayBears, call (251) 479-BEAR or log on to www.mobilebaybears.com.

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