Angels Select Cesar Valdez – MLB Trade Rumors

The Angels selected right-hander César Valdez onto the big league roster in advance of tonight’s game against the Rangers. Andrew Wantz has been optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake in a corresponding move. To clear space on the 40-man roster, Anaheim transferred middle infielder David Fletcher from the 10-day to the 60-day injured list.

Valdez agreed to a minor league deal during Spring Training. The 37-year-old reported to Salt Lake, where he’s worked as a starting pitcher. Valdez has averaged north of seven innings per appearance, tossing 35 2/3 frames altogether with an excellent 3.03 ERA. He’s fanned just under a quarter of opponents while walking a microscopic 2.9% of batters faced. Valdez has induced ground-balls at an elite 58.8% clip and only allowed one of 137 batters he’s faced to take him deep.

That’s a very impressive showing, particularly in the context of a move back to the starting staff. Valdez had worked exclusively as a reliever since landing with the Orioles in 2020. He spent a good chunk of last season in the majors, tossing 46 innings over 39 outings. The Dominican Republic native had a very good April for the O’s, eventually pitching his way into the closer role. He stumbled from May onwards, however, managing only a 5.87 ERA in the long run. Because he’s been stretched out as a starter, he’ll offer skipper Joe Maddon a long relief option in the majors.

Fletcher, the club’s primary second baseman in recent years, has been held to just 14 games in 2022. He spent the first few weeks of the season on the injured list owing to a hip strain, returning in late April. Fletcher landed back on the IL a bit more than a week later, and he was forced to undergo adductor surgery last week. That procedure came with a rough recovery timeline of “a couple months,” according to the team, making it unsurprising he heads to the 60-day IL. He’ll likely be out until after the All-Star Break.

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