The Phillies designate Nelson Figueroa for assignment

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nelson figueroa headshot mets.jpgThe Phillies activated Brad Lidge today. In order to make room for him they designated Nelson Figueroa for assignment. You know the drill: ten days to trade him, release him or send him down to the minor leagues.  The smart money is on the releasing, of course, because that’s just how these things usually go.

Figueroa appeared in nine games for the Phillies, one of which was a start.  He gave up 19 hits, struck out eight and walked eight in 18.2 innings, so he wasn’t exactly fooling anyone. In addition to giving up ten runs of his own, he’s allowed two of four inherited runners to score.  That’s not good, even though I’m certain that the Mets would rather have him back than to have to see Ollie Perez come out of the pen anymore.

He is 2 for 4 at the plate this year, however, and with the way the Phillies offense is going I’m somewhat surprised they let such a slugger go . . .

Dodgers to retire Fernando Valenzuela’s No. 34 this summer

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
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LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers will retire the No. 34 jersey of pitcher Fernando Valenzuela during a three-day celebration this summer.

Valenzuela was part of two World Series champion teams, winning the 1981 Rookie of the Year and Cy Young awards. He was a six-time All-Star during his 11 seasons in Los Angeles from 1980-90.

He will be honored from Aug. 11-13 when the Dodgers host Colorado.

Valenzuela will join Pee Wee Reese, Tommy Lasorda, Duke Snider, Gil Hodges, Jim Gilliam, Don Sutton, Walter Alston, Sandy Koufax, Roy Campanella, Jackie Robinson and Don Drysdale with retired numbers.

“To be a part of the group that includes so many legends is a great honor,” Valenzuela said. “But also for the fans, the support they’ve given me as a player and working for the Dodgers, this is also for them.”