View Full Version : This continues to tick me off...

02-28-2002, 01:22 PM
I was ticked off when he got taken during the Rule V draft, and I'm even more ticked off now.

Valentine impresses (http://detroit.tigers.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/det/news/det_news_story.jsp?article_id=mlb_20020227_tigersg ame_news&team_id=det)

Valentine has nice outing in Tigers win

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Joe Valentine has never pitched above Class A, but the Detroit Tigers are hopeful he is ready to make the big leap to the big leagues.

Valentine is one of two Rule 5 draft pitchers in the Tigers camp. They have to keep them on the 25-man roster all season or offer them back to their original club for $25,000, half of the drafting price.

Valentine struck out four, walked one, hit a batter and allowed two singles in two scoreless innings Wednesday night in a 5-4 victory over Florida Southern College. Randall Simon hit a two-run homer in the fourth and Ryan Jackson a solo shot in the sixth for the Tigers.

Valentine knows his every move is being closely scrutinized, as the Tigers must make a decision on whether to keep him.

"There were jitters early this morning when I first woke up, knowing I was going to be out there," Valentine said. "Nervousness is funny. You've got to be able to control it. I felt like controlled it."

Valentine's nerves were tested in the fourth when the Moccasins loaded the bases on a single, walk and hit batter.

"I just put myself in a jam," Valentine said. "I got two quick outs and I kind of relaxed a little but, which is definitely not a good thing. You've got to go out after them all the time, no matter whether the bases are loaded and two outs or no outs. You have to stay focused and get that next hitter."

Catcher Javier Cardona bailed out Valentine by picking Kyle Kelley off first base to end the inning.

"That's why it is a team sport," Valentine said. "When you get in jams, you've got eight guys behind you trying to pull for you. They'll do whatever they can to help you out. Cardona sure did help me out tonight."

In three seasons in the White Sox farm system, Valentine was 9-4 with a 2.67 earned run average and 29 saves. He combined for 22 saves and a 7-3 record in 57 relief appearances last season with Kannapolis and Winston-Salem. He restricted batters to a .152 average, which ranked second among all minor-league relievers.

The White Sox, however, did not put him on the 40-man Major-League roster in November, which exposed him to the Rule 5 draft in December.

"It's a touchy situation," Valentine said. "I appreciated everything they did for me. They treated me well. They had guys who they felt should have been on the 40-man roster or who had more experience and were closer (to the majors).

"I wasn't disappointed (to be left off), but I wasn't extremely happy."

The White Sox gambled they could sneak Valentine, a hard-throwing 22-year-old right-hander, through the draft because of his inexperience.

"After they put me on the Triple-A roster, I was hoping I would get taken in the major league draft," Valentine said. "It was a shock initially when I was selected, but realizing what I did the past year it wasn't too much of a surprise. The Tigers seem very interested in me."

If he has a good March, the Tigers would likely find a spot for Valentine in their bullpen. There is no question he has a big-league arm, but if he has enough command of his pitches to consistently retire major league hitters.

"They felt with the stuff I had last year that I shouldn't have a problem making the big-league club," Valentine said.

Valentine's fastball averages between 93 and 97 miles per hour.

"I've been blessed. I cannot disagree," Valentine said of his good arm. "It takes time and effort. When I first got drafted, I was throwing 88-92 (mph). With hard work and dedication, it has slowly gone up. Right now, it's nice."

Hitters have another word for it, nasty not nice.

"I was a little bit erratic with the fastball," Valentine said of his Tigers debut. "The slider I wasn't throwing at all for strikes."

It was not the nicest night to pitch, with the temperatures in the 40s and the wind gusting up to 25-30 miles per hour.

"I'm used to pitching in this kind of weather," Valentine said. "It doesn't affect me. The worst part is sitting down there and knowing you're going to get in, trying to get the jitters out."

02-28-2002, 01:32 PM

There's no way I would have been able to cope with a Jose Valentin AND a Joe Valentine in our lineup...c'mon!

02-28-2002, 01:35 PM

I guess he did only pitch against Florida Southern, but still, it's a guy who has the tools and is very young.

I hope he doesn't make that roster and we get to buy him back.

02-28-2002, 01:37 PM
Originally posted by rdivaldi

I guess he did only pitch against Florida Southern, but still, it's a guy who has the tools and is very young.

I hope he doesn't make that roster and we get to buy him back.

That would be nice, but I doubt the Tigers will let him come back to us. They are short on pitching as it is.

02-28-2002, 01:39 PM
He would have to be on the 25 man roster, all year. If he doesn't stay there, they have to offer him back.

I don't see them being able to keep him.

02-28-2002, 05:57 PM
if he shows any promise at all..detroit will keep him on their roster..they know they dont have a shot at post season so what do they care if he takes up a roster spot this year...