Bloggers shed light on Valverde age controversy

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Sparked by some nice work from MLB Trade Rumors and MVN’s Lisa Gray, the Astros have revealed that an error was made in recent media guides, giving Jose Valverde a birthdate of June 24, 1979, rather than his actual DOB of March 24, 1978.
This obviously wasn’t just an Astros mistake, as Valverde has been listed as a 1979 birth by many publications dating back to his days as a prospect in the Arizona system. Others have had the correct date. I believe Rotoworld has always gone by the correct date, though I’m struggling to come up with any old examples of us stating Valverde’s age. I did have him listed at age 32, as of Opening Day, 2010, in our free agency preview back in May.
Even if some teams did think he was 15 months younger than he is, it really shouldn’t be much of an issue when he becomes a free agent this winter. Age is far more of an issue when it comes to hitters. Assuming that he finishes the season healthy, Valverde figures to be regarded as the top closer available over alternatives like Rafael Soriano, Fernando Rodney, Billy Wagner and Mike Gonzalez.

Video: Jaime Garcia hits a 399-foot grand slam

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Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.

The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.

Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.

As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:

Ryon Healy exits game after taking a ground ball to the face

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Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.

Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.

Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.