New York Mets: Is Jordany Valdespin the Secret Weapon Against the Phillies?

Alex Giobbi@@alexgiobbiAnalyst IJune 12, 2016

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 05:  Jordany Valdespin #1 of the New York Mets celebrates as he scores the game winning run in the ninth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field on July 5, 2012 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

If the New York Mets want to continue their run of success against their longtime rivals, the Philadelphia Phillies, they're going to need one player to be there in the ninth inning.

No, it isn't David Wright, even if he hit the game winner against Jonathan Papelbon, nor is it any of the Mets' home run hitters.

The answer to this is a rookie utility player with little pop, but good speed. His name is Jordany Valdespin.

Valdespin has flexed his heroics in two important games against Philadelphia this season, both in the ninth inning against Papelbon.

On May 7 at Citizens Bank Park, Valdespin stepped up to the plate in a 2-2 game against Papelbon and promptly launched a three-run home run for his first Major League hit.

Last night, Valdespin, whose plate discipline is still in development, worked the count to 3-2 before he was plunked. Three batters later, he crossed home plate while Wright was mobbed by his teammates.

If Valdespin is playing a key role against the Phillies, especially in the ninth inning in clutch situations, then he definitely needs to be kept on that bench until late in the game, especially in close games.

Sure the Phillies are in last place, but consider this: Last year, against Philadelphia, the Mets were 7-11. This year, so far, they are 8-4. With five more games against them, Valdespin must be on the roster if they want a chance late.

While Valdespin is pretty much guaranteed to be on the team in September with roster expansions, his spot may be in jeopardy when the Mets play the Phillies in August.

Nobody can predict the future, but with Frank Francisco, Jason Bay and Mike Baxter set to return, Valdespin might find himself on the short end of the stick when it comes to a roster spot. Nonetheless, if Valdespin continues to impress, especially in the next few games, he may have a shot to stay.

At the end of the day, it's all up to Terry Collins and Sandy Alderson, but if they want a few more wins, Valdespin might be the best option, especially against Philadelphia.