Jose Valverde’s trek back to the majors involved throwing two innings in an extended spring training scrimmage against the Canadian junior national team yesterday.
Jason Beck of MLB.com reports that the 35-year-old former closer held a bunch of 16-, 17-, and 18-year-olds hitless while getting four of the six outs via strikeout.
After failing to find guaranteed big-league work all offseason Valverde signed a minor-league deal with the Tigers two weeks ago. He has a May 5 opt-out clause, so the Tigers are expected to send him to Triple-A at some point to more accurately evaluate his ability to pitch against hitters who’re, say, legally allowed to drink.
Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres was born on December 13, 1996. That year, Bartolo Colon (who turns 45 years old on Thursday) was wrapping up a season he spent with Double-A Canton-Akron and Triple-A Buffalo. He would debut in the majors the following April.
In a clash of generations, the 21-year-old Torres and Colon squared off on Monday as the Yankees visited the Rangers. Torres won the battle twice, drilling a two-run home run off of Colon in the second inning and a solo shot off of Colon in the fourth. Colon wound up giving up six runs in total on eight hits (including four homers) and a walk with four strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings.
Here is video of the first homer Torres hit:
Torres is the second-youngest Yankee in club history with a multi-homer game. Mickey Mantle was 20 years and 296 days old when he went yard twice on August 11, 1952. Torres is 21 years, 159 days old. Joe DiMaggio was 21-212 when he hit two on June 24, 1936.
So much for respecting one’s elders. We’re currently seeing a youth movement in baseball. 19-year-old Juan Soto hit his first major league homer on Monday against the Padres. 20-year-olds Ronald Acuña and Mike Soroka debuted for the Braves earlier this year. Could 19-year-old Blue Jays prospect Vladimir Guerrero, Jr. join them soon?