The Astros claimed the 36-year-old Valdes off waivers from the Phillies this past offseason and opened the season with him in their bullpen, but the results were less than favorable. Valdes yielded five runs in 3 2/3 innings with the Astros before being designated for assignment and outrighted to Triple-A Oklahoma City (he accepted the assignment rather than electing free agency).
Valdes didn’t reach the Majors until the age of 32 back in 2010, and since that time he’s posted a 5.13 ERA with 9.4 K/9, 3.1 BB/9 and a 30.2 percent ground-ball rate in 140 1/3 innings for the Phillies, Mets, Yankees, Astros and Cardinals. His best season came in 2012, when he posted an outstanding 2.90 ERA with 10.2 K/9 and 1.5 BB/9 in 31 innings for Philadelphia.
Toronto’s bullpen has been an issue for the team all season, posting the third-highest combined ERA in the Majors (5.26) and totaling the sixth-most innings of any Major League team (145 1/3). Valdes provides the team with depth and has looked strong since reporting to Triple-A, posting a 3.48 ERA with 13 strikeouts against zero walks in 10 1/3 innings.
While opposing left-handers have a career .265/.315/.465 batting line against Valdes, he’s also had quite a bit of misfortune against them. Left-handed hitters have a career .370 BABIP against Valdes, which has offset his outstanding 11.8 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9 (6.8 K/BB) against same-handed opposition.