People have groused about Joba Chamberlain and Jonathan Papelbon’s post-strikeout and post-save fist pumps and histrionics for years now, but it’s time to add someone else to that list: Jose Valverde. Check out his display from last night’s Yankees-Tigers game, which the good people at MLB.com have so helpfully put on a single, 43 second reel.
Of course, this is not new behavior from Valverde. He’s been doing this for years. Just not on national television against teams like the Yankees. When you dance after a strikeout in Houston, you’re just local color. When you do it against the Bombers: big issue. At least if the multiple references to it in the blogosphere this morning are any guide.
I view this as basically the same thing as touchdown celebrations. If it’s actual exuberance — which is what I think that Papelbon, Chamberlain and even Valverde are displaying — who cares? Silly, sure, but not an offense against nature. If it’s more choreographed and premeditated it’s kinda bush league.
The Dodgers beat the Twins last night thanks to a Cody Bellinger three-run homer. But Bellinger was not the only Dodgers rookie who had a notable game. A far more unconventional one is worth mentioning as well.
That rookie is reliever Edward Paredes, who made his big league debut last night. What makes him unconventional: he’s 30. Turns 31 in September, actually. Paredes pitched professionally for 12 years before making it to The Show. Most of that time was in the affiliated minors in the Mariners, Indians, Angels and Dodgers organizations. He spent time in the independent Atlantic League in 2013-15 as well.
Paredes did not do anything heroic last night. It was more of a right place/right time kind of appearance, retiring the side in order with a fly out, line out and a ground out and remaining the pitcher of record while Bellinger hit that three-run homer. That’s enough for a W, though. A W that Paredes waited a lot longer for than most pitchers who notch one in the bigs.
Jon Morosi of MLB Network says that the Nationals could pursue Athletics right-hander Sonny Gray if Stephen Strasburg‘s forearm issue lingers. Strasburg left Sunday’s start early due to forearm tightness, saying he was unable to get loose. Sometimes that’s a sign of a major injury. Sometimes it’s just a thing that happens and then goes away.
The Nationals will have to make a determination as to how big a deal this all is pretty soon, though, as a lot of other teams, including the Yankees, Brewers and Astros have all been linked to Gray. It seems inevitable at this point that the A’s will move their ace before Monday’s trade deadline.
Gray is set to start tonight. It may very well be his last in an A’s uniform.