Infielder Jordany Valdespin has decided to leave his team, Tigres del Licey, of the Dominican Winter League, reportedly infuriated after being pinch-hit for in a playoff game this past weekend. The news was first reported by Dominican radio show Grandes En Los Deportes (Spanish Twitter link), co-hosted by ESPN Deportes’ Enrique Rojas.
Valdespin hit only .167/.316/.612 in 108 regular season at bats for the Tigres del Licey, accumulating 7 extra-bases (3 homers, 3 doubles, one triple), although with zero stolen bases, which comes a little bit as a surprise given that speed has been the most talked-about skill of his.
The left-handed batter carried his regular season struggles to the playoffs, traditionally called “Round Robin” in Latin-American countries. Prior to abandoning his team on Tuesday, Valdespin had hit only .267/.389/.722 in 15 at bats, with only one double, one RBI, and a run scored. Fans reacting to the news showed no wary concerning his departure, in part because of his offensive struggles.
Valdespin was originally signed by the New York Mets, then led by general manager Omar Minaya, in 2007 as an amateur free agent out of his native Dominican Republic. After debuting in 2012, Valdespin has struggled mightily at the plate with the Mets, as well as dealing with discipline issues, constantly angering manager Terry Collins for his action on the field.
On August 5 of this past year, Jordany Valdespin was hit with a 50-game suspension for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal, being one of 14 players suspended by Commissioner Bud Selig for reportedly accepting banned drugs from Dr. Anthony Bosch, founder of the clinic.
The suspension effectively ended Valdespin’s season, and thus, his 5-year tenure with the Mets. He became a free agent on December 2 after being non-tendered by the Mets. Two weeks later, the Miami Marlins signed him to a minor-league contract, but decided not to invite him to Spring Training. He is slated to begin the season at the team’s Triple-A affiliate in New Orleans and try to earn a spot on the big-league roster.
Through two MLB seasons (160 games), Valdespin has accumulated a .219/.271/.380 slash line, showing occasional power with 12 homers, with 14 stolen bases while being caught six times.