By Leif Skodnick
World Baseball Network
In two games at the Caribbean Series, pitcher Cesar Valdez of the Dominican Republic’s Tigres del Licey gave what may be the performances of his career, shutting out Venezuela for 12 innings across two starts on the way to the championship.
A veteran of 17 seasons of professional baseball, Valdez was named the Caribbean Series MVP following the Dominican Republic’s 3-0 victory over Venezuela in the championship game Friday night. In two starts at Caribbean baseball’s biggest event, the 37-year-old went 12.1 innings, allowing no runs on six hits, striking out 10 and walking none.
Valdez is well-traveled in professional baseball, first playing for Yakima in the short season Class-A Northwest League in 2006. He made his Major League debut with Arizona in 2010, appearing in nine games, going 1-2 with a 7.65 ERA. It would be seven years before he made it back to the Majors with Oakland, and in the meantime, he played for 14 different teams, ranging from Lamigo of the Chinese Professional Baseball League to Triple-A stops in Buffalo, Nashville, Fresno, Reno, New Orleans, and Indianapolis.
With 69 games in the majors, Valdez’ next stop will be the World Baseball Classic, depending upon the severity of the arm injury that caused him to leave the Caribbean Series final after 6.1 innings.