Utility infielder Wilson Valdez and Rule 5 pick Michael Martinez have homered in the opening stages of the Dominican Winter League playoffs.
Valdez's two-run homer in the first inning sparked the Gigantes' 11-7 victory on Sunday. The 32-year-old utilityman followed with a 2-for-5 effort last night against Martinez's Estrellas club. Martinez is also off to a hot start out of the lead-off spot for Estrellas, homering and knocking in a pair in last night's ballgame. Valdez is a near lock to break camp this spring as the Phillies primary utilityman, while the versitile Martinez, a switch-hitter with speed who can play middle infield and also centerfield, will be an intriguing candidate to head north as the last man off the bench.