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Philadelphia Phillies Should Option Juan Castro, Keep Wilson Valdez

NEW YORK - MAY 27:  Wilson Valdez #21  of the Philadelphia Phillies in action against the New York Mets during their game on May 27, 2010 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images
Bob CunninghamSenior Analyst IOctober 18, 2016

With Jimmy Rollins set to come off the DL and return to the lineup on Tuesday, the Phillies will face a decision on which of their backup shortstops they want to keep on the bench, and which one they want to send down to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

For me, the decision would appear to be an easy one.

Over the past few games Wilson Valdez has been clutch. Whether it's coming up with a key hit to get a rally started—or keep a rally going—or being a wall in the infield, Valdez has shown more than enough to warrant a spot on the bench.

Valdez is only a .229 career hitter, but he's hitting .250 this year with two homeruns, 12 RBIs, seven doubles, one triple, and two stolen bases.

His competition, Juan Castro, just doesn't stack up.

Castro is hitting .222 with zero homeruns, 12 RBIs, five doubles, zero triples, and zero stolen bases. Castro also has three errors in 32 games, whereas Valdez doesn't have an error to his name in five more games.

The numbers seem to speak for themselves. Valdez is outperforming Castro in every category, and also has the speed and awareness to fit that Eric Bruntlett-type utility role the Phillies seem to have been missing while guys are dropping like flies.

Not only that, but from an overall roster management standpoint, it makes a lot more sense to keep Valdez and option Castro
mainly because Valdez is out of options, and Castro isn't.

Valdez would have to once again clear waivers, but after the way he's played over the past week or so, there is no way he makes it through. There is at least one of the other 29 teams that could use a guy like Valdez.

Castro, however, could be sent down outright to Lehigh Valley. He could start down there, get some at-bats, and be ready if something were to happen to Rollins again.

But for now, Valdez has done more than enough to warrant a spot as the backup infielder for the remainder of the season.

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