If you live in the New York area and listen to the “Boomer and Carton Show” on WFAN, then you may know that they like to play a certain sound bite when talking about the Mets’ utility player Jordany Valdespin.
That being: “I’m the man right now!” Here is a link for a primer.
Those immortal words were uttered after Valdespin played the hero back in May when he hit a three-run, game-winning home run off Phillies’ closer Jonathan Papelbon.
With Valdespin just starting to grasp the English language, maybe something was lost in translation, but it’s a humorous little clip nonetheless. On the flipside, it does show the confidence that Valdespin has in himself.
Well, with the way he is playing of late, Valdespin might be turning into the “man” as the versatile player is starting to have his impact felt on the field. In his last 13 games, Valdespin is 11-35 with one home run, one triple, four doubles and nine runs driven in.
While his overall numbers (including a .224/.250/.431 slash line) are less than stellar, it has been Valdespin’s heart and clutchness of late that is capturing the hearts of Mets’ fans. Valdespin does have the knack for coming up with a clutch hit, as both of his home runs hit this year have come as a pinch-hitter.
Mets’ manager Terry Collins is starting to warm up to the idea of playing Valdespin more often. After Wednesday’s game, Valdespin has now started the last three games. Collins likes the fact that Valdespin has speed while also possessing a ‘thunder bat.’
“He’s adding some spark and adding some energy,” Collins told reporters about why he is using Valdespin more often. Collins added, “The last few games he’s played, we’ve won.”
The problem is finding a permanent spot for Valdespin.
With his experiment at shortstop being an abomination, the only spot for Valdespin to earn his keep has been the two places he’s played in the last three games: left field and second base. Well, with Daniel Murphy firmly entrenched at second base, the only position for Valdespin to capitalize on his talents is in left field.
With Jason Bay chronically being hurt and underachieving, if Valdespin keeps up this pace, he will be in line for significant playing time with the Mets in left. At the very least, when Bay is healthy to return Collins should at least entertain the idea of platooning Bay and Valdespin.
Who knows if Valdespin can keep this up, but he does personify the Mets’ scrappy and hard-working image. With the way he has been playing, Valdespin deserves a shot at routine playing time.
It’s the least you could do for “the man right now!”
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