By Jay Blue
Blue Jays from Away
Now that the season is over, the crew at Blue Jays from Away will take a look at the Blue Jays one by one and review how each player’s season went, whether he met expectations (or not) and look at how he fits into (what we think of) the Blue Jays’ plans going forward.
The Blue Jays picked up right-handed pitcher Cesar Valdez after he was put on waivers by the Oakland A's in early May. Valdez had made the major leagues in 2010 at the age of 25 with the Arizona Diamondbacks, throwing 20 innings for them. Then he became a journeyman, returning to the big leagues in 2017 after three major league organizations and three seasons in the Mexican League.
Valdez started off his 2017 season back in triple-A with the Oakland A's' affiliate in Nashville. After two solid starts, he was promoted to the majors, tossing 9 1/3 innings with the A's, giving up 10 runs (including four home runs). Put through waivers, the Blue Jays got a claim in, sending him to triple-A Buffalo.
Valdez made two starts in Buffalo, including throwing five hitless innings, walking one and striking out two in his Bisons debut. He gave up three runs in his next outing, going four innings, before being recalled by the Blue Jays and throwing a scoreless inning in relief.
Sent back to Buffalo, he appeared five more times, posting a 3.91 ERA and .629 OPS against through 25 1/3 innings, striking out 27 and walking only six. He was promoted to Toronto again but this time gave up four runs (two earned) in 3 1/3 innings against the Texas Rangers.
Going back to Buffalo, Valdez made four starts with a 2.67 ERA and only gave up one run on 11 hits in his last two starts, throwing 14 innings. He was promoted back to Toronto in July, throwing four scoreless innings in his return, and gave up just two runs over his next two appearances including a six-inning start in which he allowed one run. Things didn't work out well from then. Valdez allowed seven runs in two innings against the Los Angeles Angels on July 31 and six runs against the Houston Astros (for whose minor league system he had played in 2016) on August 4.
After that August 4 start, Valdez was put on the 10-day DL with right shoulder impingement and was transferred to the 60-day DL in September. He was sent outright to the minors following the season and elected free agency.
Valdez is currently a free agent.
2017 Regular Season Grades
Jay Blue: C-
Emily: C (Small Sample Size)
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The 2017 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook is now available! Visit the Handbook page for more information!