Mets 51s outfielder Jordany Valdespin has made a name for himself in his still-young baseball career by being exuberant and brash, no matter if he is in the Majors or toiling away in the Minors. In May, he upset the Pirates by showboating a home run with his team down 7-1. A few weeks ago, he threw a temper tantrum after learning he was being demoted to Triple-A Las Vegas.
His latest incident involved some more showboating, and now he’s been suspended three games for his role in a bench-clearing brawl stemming from his showmanship.
Wally Backman, Jordany Valdespin and Armando Rodriguez were issued suspensions by the Pacific Coast League for their part in a bench-clearing incident earlier this week in Las Vegas, the 51s and the league both confirmed to MetsBlog.
On Monday night in Las Vegas, Valdespin hit a three-run home run in the second game of a doubleheader against the Sacramento River Cats.
Valdespin watched his home run, and carried his bat halfway down the first base line, before dropping it and rounding the bases.
Later in the game, River Cats pitcher Brian Gordon threw inside at Valdespin, hitting him in the hand. Gordon was issued a warning by home plate umpire Greg Stanzak. In the top of the next inning, Rodriguez threw at Sacramento’s Grant Green, hitting him. He and Rodriguez exchanged words as Green walked up the first base line, which triggered the benches to clear.
The Mets have been openly critical of Valdespin’s antics in the past. He seems eager to find out exactly how much rope he’ll be given.
The Cardinals went from winning 100 games last season to 82 entering Wednesday evening’s game, and they might not even make the playoffs. Still, the organization will bring back manager Mike Matheny for the 2017 season, Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
Owner Bill DeWitt, Jr. said, “Mike’s done a really good job for us. There’s no thought that we’re going to go in any different direction.”
GM John Mozeliak also expressed his support, saying, “Mike takes a lot of heat, and I’ve defended him and I will continue to. I really feel like some of the things that we’re dealing with aren’t fair to put on the manager.”
Mozeliak continued, “I do feel like all of us are always held accountable for what we do here, so there’s nobody excluded from that. But having said that, I don’t look at him as someone that we are where we are because of that.”
Matheny has received criticism for his bullpen usage, but the Cardinals have only 15 blown saves as a team, the fourth-lowest total in baseball this season.
The Phillies’ bullpen led to yet another loss on Tuesday. Severino Gonzalez, Luis Garcia, Joely Rodriguez, and David Hernandez combined to allow six runs in five innings, allowing the Braves to come back and win 7-6 after falling behind 6-0 after the first two innings.
The game prior, the Phillies’ bullpen surrendered 14 runs in four innings in a 17-0 loss to the Mets. The game before that, the bullpen yielded four runs in four innings, nearly squandering the Phillies’ 10-0 lead after four innings. And last Thursday, the Phillies had taken an 8-6 lead in the top of the 11th, but Edubray Ramos served up a walk-off three-run home run to Asdrubal Cabrera. It’s been a tough month.
Manager Pete Mackanin ripped the bullpen when speaking to the media after Tuesday’s game. Via Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly:
Neris was going to close for us. I thought about using him with two outs in the eighth. But, at some point, somebody else has to do a (bleeping) job. Somebody else has to (bleeping) step up. In two games now, every reliever I brought in has given up a (bleeping) run. That’s unheard of.
The Phillies currently own the fourth-worst bullpen ERA in baseball at 4.97. Only the Rockies (5.12), Reds (5.07), and Diamondbacks (4.98) have been worse.
In fairness to the bullpen, aside from Jeanmar Gomez (who lost his job as closer earlier this month) and free agent signee David Hernandez, the bullpen is intentionally comprised of young, inexperienced pitchers as the Phillies are still rebuilding. If the Phillies were aiming for a playoff spot, it would be one thing, but the struggles are to be expected when one throws 24-year-olds into the deep end.