In a somewhat unexpected move, the Houston Astros have pounced on former Trenton Thunder reliever Jose Valdez, signing him to a deal and adding him to their 40-man roster.
That Valdez was signed isn’t a big shock, as he posted a 3.43 ERA in 43 games in both Trenton and Scranton, and showed some decent stuff and velocity. That someone added him to their 40-man roster is somewhat surprising, considering I don’t think anyone ever thought he’d have much of a shot at that in the Yankees organization or too many others.
Valdez actually seemed to regress a little bit on the mound this season, considering he posted ERA’s of under three at both Tampa and Trenton in 2008 and his batting averages against were better in both places last year than they were at either Trenton or Scranton this year.
Off the field, his English improved and he was finally able to conduct short interviews without the use of a translator. I liked Valdez personally, and hope he does well in the Astros organization.
In other Thunder alumni news, the Pittsburgh Pirates have designated Jeff Karstens for assignment…
Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com