Wilson Valdez set career highs in virtually every offensive
category this year, but his contributions with the glove have been even more
valuable to the Phils’ playoff run. (Getty Images)
Subbing for Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley, Valdez has demonstrated some serious middle infield versatility, showcasing a rifle arm, cat-like range and perhaps his best trait of all: reliability. In 421 innings at short, Valdez has committed just two errors. Of all National League shortstops with more than 25 starts, Valdez is the leader in fielding percentage (.991). In addition, during his time at second (June 29 to August 15, a span of 301 1-3 innings), Wil-Val booted it just once. Errors may not be the best measure of performance, but there’s something to be said about providing pitchers, and the skipper, with this much peace of mind, and doing so at two different positions.
Howard’s improved splits: In 204 plate appearances against lefites, Howard is hitting .264/.333/.500 with 12 bombs (15.2 AB/HR) and 37 RBIs. Last season, in 199 plate appearances, he was a .228/.296/.417 hitter with seven homers.
(Written for Beerleaguer by Matt Grassie)