Jordany Valdespin knows his days on the Mets’ roster could be numbered as injured second baseman Justin Turner made his return to the lineup Tuesday night, and infielders Ruben Tejada, Ronny Cedeno inch closer to their respective returns. But Valdespin’s play makes it hard for his manager to take him out of the lineup, let alone send him back down to Triple-A Buffalo.
“He didn’t really get a very good chance his first time up,” manager Terry Collins said after the Mets' 5-0 win over the Orioles at Citi Field. “But when he went down, I talked to [Buffalo manager] Wally [Backman] about some things and he sat Jordany down and said, ‘This is the way it is going to get done here,’ and I think what we’re seeing is the results of the fact that this kid’s come back up with a different attitude and ready to play.”
Valdespin went 2-for-4. He scored on a Lucas Duda two-run home run in the sixth inning to make it 3-0, and also had a big two-run single to give the Mets two big insurance runs in the seventh inning. In his past four starts, Valdespin is now 7-for-17 with seven runs and six RBIs.
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He was sent down to Buffalo on May 18, and spent 10 games there with two home runs and eight RBIs before being called back up on May 30.
“Jordany Valdespin is a very talented young man and he’s growing on the job,” Collins said. “He is learning on the job, he is maturing up here. I thought he’s handled himself very well up here so far. He is listening. He played well.”
Valdespin made his sixth start of the season starting in left field before shifting to second base in the eighth inning. Valdespin’s ability to play multiple positions (he has also played shortstop this season) is why Collins said he could play himself into more time even when Tejada and Cedeno are healthy. Turner returned to action last night pinch-hitting in the seventh inning after missing 19 games with an ankle injury.
Valdespin has made the most of his opportunity, and most importantly, the Mets are 4-0 in his last four starts.
“It’s good for me because I am helping my team. That’s what I want to do, play hard every day and try to win games,” Valdespin said after the game. “I am looking for my pitch. I’m a fastball hitter so he threw me a fastball, and then a slider right in the middle, and I swung and got a base hit.”
Ruben Tejada, Ronny Cedeno, manager Terry Collins, Justin Turner, the Mets, Jordany Valdespin, Lucas Duda, Buffalo