Danny Valencia

Danny Valencia to get chance at 3B vs. RHP

DannyValencia
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said Friday that he plans to give Danny Valencia a shot against right-handed pitching.

"We want to see what he can do," Gibbons said. Valencia has already shown what he can do (or can't do) versus righties in his career, batting .228 with a .623 OPS. Evidently Gibbons needs to see it with his own eyes, though. With Brett Lawrie (oblique) out again, the Jays don't have many options at third base.


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Danny Valencia takes out full-page ad in Star to thank Royals fans

DannyValencia
The trade deadline was littered with headline-making trades from the Red Sox dealing Jon Lester to Oakland to Tampa Bay dealing David Price to Detroit. Those long-time players took to the local newspaper to thank the fans, as Lester took an ad out in the Boston Globe to thank Red Sox fans and David Price took out at an ad in the Tampa Bay Times thanking Rays fans.

The Royals were quiet at the trade deadline, but earlier in the week had already made a move sending third baseman Danny Valencia to the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for catcher Erik Kratz and pitcher Liam Hendriks. Not to be outdone, Valencia recently took to the pages of the Kansas City Star to express his thanks to Royals fans for a magical ride.

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Blue Jays shore up infield depth, acquire Danny Valencia

DannyValencia
BOSTON -- The Blue Jays provided some much-needed balance to their lineup Monday afternoon by acquiring infielder Danny Valencia from the Royals in a deal for catcher Erik Kratz and right-hander Liam Hendriks.

Toronto's batting order is predominantly left-handed and there's a void on the right side, especially while Edwin Encarnacion and Brett Lawrie are on the disabled list.

General manager Alex Anthopoulos attempted to help fix that, and while the trade is relatively minor in the grand scheme of things, it does address an area of need.

"We felt like we could use some help from the right side. Danny's had a lot of success," Anthopoulos told reporters during a conference call Monday night. "We've actually inquired about him in the past, just haven't been able to get anything done.

"We've really been trying to find all year -- we've definitely given some guys some opportunities from the Minor Leagues looking for that right-handed bat. He's had success at the big league level doing that and doing it well; it's a good fit for us."

Valencia is a career .265 hitter with a .304 on-base percentage. He was a part-time player with the Royals this season and appeared in 36 games while posting a .282 average and .710 OPS.

The true value of Valencia's game can be found when he faces left-handed pitching. He has a .333 average and .809 OPS vs. lefties, compared to a .227 average and .620 OPS against right-handers.

Valencia likely will see a lot of playing time at third base, at least until Lawrie returns at some point in August from a fractured right index finger. Anthopoulos was non-committal about Valencia's role after Lawrie returns, but the GM did say the Blue Jays have been trying to acquire a player like Valencia since Mark DeRosa retired after last season.

"Ever since we lost Mark DeRosa, we really haven't had anybody necessarily fill in at that spot," Anthopoulos said. "Steve Tolleson has done a nice job. A guy like Danny brings maybe a little bit more power, but we definitely can use -- because of all the left-handed bats we have on the team -- someone else who can help us out."

Kratz likely will welcome the change of scenery after he was shuttled between Toronto and Triple-A Buffalo on multiple occasions this year. He's regarded as a Major League catcher, but found himself third on Toronto's depth chart in part because backup Josh Thole is R.A. Dickey's personal catcher.

The 34-year-old Kratz appeared in 34 games this season and notched three homers and 10 RBIs. He also had three doubles and a .572 OPS, but saw limited action. Kratz is expected to join the Royals as a backup to Salvador Perez.

Hendriks has been enjoying a strong year at Triple-A Buffalo, but struggled during brief appearances in the Major Leagues. Hendriks gives up a lot of deep fly balls, which isn't a recipe for success at Rogers Centre. In three starts this season, he allowed nine runs in 13 1/3 innings.

Anthopoulos' move is far from being the blockbuster trade a lot of fans are hoping for, but the Blue Jays aren't necessarily done adding pieces. While it seems unlikely that the club will be able to pull off a major acquisition, Toronto's GM said he wouldn't rule anything out.

"There's always a chance, but I'd say all 29 other GMs would say the same thing," Anthopoulos said. "It's been very active in terms of phone calls, emails, texts, everyone seems to be exchanging ideas. That's expected. It seems that it's the same it's been the last few years around this time -- things start to ramp up.

"I don't know that I can really handicap what the potential are chances are for another deal. Trades are hard to make and I wouldn't say we're close to anything, but this deal came together fast, so anything can come together fast and we're going to continue to talk to clubs."


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Royals trade Danny Valencia to Toronto

DannyValencia
By dealing for a pair of minor-leaguers in Toronto’s system, Royals general manager Dayton Moore attempted to balance his roster, opened the door for a promotion for former first-round pick Christian Colon and delivered a vote of confidence for rebounding third baseman Mike Moustakas.

The team traded backup third baseman Danny Valencia to the Blue Jays for Class AAA catcher Erik Kratz and right-handed reliever Liam Hendriks. Colon received a call-up from Class AAA Omaha, and will join the club as a backup to second baseman Omar Infante and shortstop Alcides Escobar for the series against Minnesota that starts tonight at Kauffman Stadium.

Kratz replaces Brett Hayes as the backup to Salvador Perez. The Royals designated Hayes for assignment. Hendriks will go to Omaha as a swingman. But as Moore discussed the maneuvers on Monday evening, he focused on both Moustakas and Colon.

“Moose has played very well,” Moore told The Star in a telephone conversation. “We just felt we needed to add some depth to the middle infield. August is a very grueling month, a lot of baseball to be played.

“As you know, it’s very hot in Kansas City. We just need to add some depth there to be able to spell Infante and Escobar from time to time. We felt it was a move that strengthened the depth of our roster.”


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Danny Valencia Injurs Hand

DannyValencia
The Kansas City Royals moved to within a game of .500 with a 7-1 win over the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday. At 49-50, the Royals are in third place in the American League Central, seven games behind the Detroit Tigers. Mike Moustakas went 3-for-5 with two home runs and three RBI for the Royals, who played without Eric Hosmer for the second straight game with a hand injury. Moustakas started at third in place of Danny Valencia, who was hit by a pitch on Monday.

As for Valencia, he was hit in the left hand by a pitch in Monday night's game and was not in the starting lineup.   He was available to pinch hit last night but did not enter the game.  Valencia is batting .295 with two home runs and 11 RBI this season.


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Danny Valencia Activated

DannyValencia
NEWS UPDATE
Valencia (hand) was activated from the disabled list.

ROTOWIRE FANTASY ANALYSIS
After completing his rehab assignment at Triple-A Omaha, Valencia will slot back into a platoon at third base with incumbent starter Mike Moustakas, with manager Ned Yost declaring Valencia would get most of the starts against left-handed pitching, Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star reports. Though Moustakas offers the better power potential of the two players, he's been mired in a slump against pitchers of all kinds for much of the last two seasons and has shown little sign of a breakthrough. Should Moustakas' struggles continue to linger, it wouldn't be surprising if Valencia ultimately assumed full-time duties at the position.


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Danny Valencia hopes to start rehab stint, rejoin Royals soon

DannyValencia
Danny Valencia tested his sprained left hand in batting practice Friday, and expects to start a rehabilitation stint as early as Sunday.

Valencia is eligible to rejoin the Royals from the 15-day disabled list Monday in Detroit. He expects to spend a few games with Class AA Northwest Arkansas in the interim.

Valencia never before required a stint on the disabled list. He initially injured his hand May 24 in Anaheim. After sitting out five games, he aggravated the injury.

“Nobody is 100 percent right now,” Valencia said. “As long as I feel like I can compete. Like in Toronto, I was hurt. It got to the point where I felt like I was going to give away at-bats if I kept staying out there.”

His injury accelerated the return from the minor leagues of Mike Moustakas. After an ugly start to his comeback, Moustakas showed signs of progress near the end of the last homestand. He homered Tuesday and supplied a two-hit game Wednesday.

Yost declined to reveal how he would split playing time between the two third basemen when Valencia comes back. But a platoon once again appears likely, with Valencia facing left-handers and Moustakas seeing the bulk of the playing time.

For now, Yost insisted he was only concerned about Valencia avoiding a “relapse” of injury, he said. “You don’t want it to fall back to where it did before.”

Valencia described the injury as “weird.” It occurred while he swung the bat against the Angels. He is still working his way back to full strength.

“I feel like I’m pretty close to being able to do almost everything,” he said. “I’m definitely not there yet. But I’m real close.”


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Danny Valencia plans on returning for series in Toronto

DannyValencia
KANSAS CITY -- Royals third baseman Danny Valencia, who has been sidelined since Saturday with a left hand sprain, is confident he'll be ready to play in the upcoming four-game series at Toronto.

"Absolutely," Valencia said. "No doubt about it."

Valencia will have an extensive workout Thursday at Rogers Centre and doesn't expect any complications.

"I feel a lot better than I did a couple of days ago," Valencia said. "There has definitely been progress. I don't have any of the pain I had before. I'm looking forward to getting back on the field."

Manager Ned Yost will monitor Valencia's workout before deciding how to fill out his lineup card in the four-game set.

"If his hand is fine, there's a big possibility that he'll play," Yost said. "I think -- and it's only what I think -- that he'll play in the Toronto series."


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Danny Valencia will miss ‘a few days’ with sprained hand

DannyValencia
AHEIM, Calif. — Danny Valencia and the Royals received a dose of good news late on Saturday night, when X-rays on his sore left hand were negative. Valencia feared he fractured the hamate bone, but instead suffered a sprain.

“It’s pretty sore today,” Valencia said Sunday. “Just hopefully it dies down quickly.”

Valencia expects to miss “a few days,” he said. In his absence, Jimmy Paredes will start at third base. He hit .326 with an .843 on-base plus slugging percentage with Class AAA Omaha. He is a switch hitter.

Paredes went one for three Sunday and started the team’s third-inning scoring surge in a 4-3 loss. Both he and Valencia are filling in for regular third baseman Mike Moustakas, who was demoted to the minors on Thursday after a pitiful start to the year.

Valencia injured himself during his last at-bat in the 13th inning on Saturday night. He stayed in the game and doubled to spark the winning rally. He endured plenty of ribbing for his plight the next morning, as an electronic stimulation machine provided treatment for his hand.

“I very highly don’t think it’s a D.L. thing,” manager Ned Yost said.


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Danny Valencia likely to get more looks at lefties

DannyValencia
KANSAS CITY -- Third baseman Mike Moustakas has some plusses and some minuses in the first month of the season.

"Moose is third on our team in RBIs and first in home runs," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He's a great defender at third base."

True enough. Entering Wednesday night's game against the Blue Jays, Moustakas had four home runs and 12 RBIs.

However, Moustakas also had a .155 (13-for-84) batting average and a .226 on-base percentage. In particular, the left-handed batter has struggled against left-handed pitching, going 1-for-11, .091.

Could that mean right-handed-hitting Danny Valencia might get more shots against left-handed pitchers?

"Yes, absolutely," Yost said.

That likely will be the case Thursday night against Blue Jays lefty Mark Buehrle. In his career, Valencia is 7-for-25 (.280), against Buehrle compared with Moustakas' 1-for-8 (.125).

Valencia has hit lefties for a .329 (134-for-407) average in his career; Moustakas has only a .218 (82-for-376) mark against them.

"I imagine we'll see Danny pinch-hitting a little more -- against tough left-handers," Yost said. "Not all of them. We look at matchups. It'll probably just be when we're behind."


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Danny Valencia doesn't have broken left wrist

DannyValencia
Danny Valencia did not break his left wrist, as some feared after he was hit by a pitch on Thursday.
Valencia is day-to-day, the Royals announced. The 29-year-old, acquired from the Orioles over the winter, is projected to begin the season as a backup corner infielder. Valencia posted an impressive .304/.335/.553 batting line with eight home runs and 23 RBI in 52 games this past season for Baltimore. The Royals will be wise to only bat him against southpaws.


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Danny Valencia in line to be Royals' sole backup infielder

DannyValencia
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Danny Valencia has fond memories of Kauffman Stadium.

And he should, considering it was the site of his first Major League home run, a grand slam off none other than Zack Greinke, and it triggered a 19-1 runaway for the Minnesota Twins.

"I remember that one," Valencia said. "It was pretty cool. It was a fastball, 3-1 count I think. He challenges up -- he's not afraid to go after guys so you knew what you were going to get -- and I was fortunate enough to get a pitch to hit."

That came in the first inning on July 26, 2010, and the ball landed in the left-field bullpen. Not only that, but Valencia had four of the Twins' 20 hits in what matched the Royals' worst beating in history.

Now Valencia is in the Kansas City clubhouse, hoping to make memories with the Royals at Kauffman Stadium. He has to make the team first, and he is off to a slow start at the plate (3-for-20, .150). But he is a leading candidate to be a backup infielder, perhaps the only backup infielder, on the Royals' 25-man roster.

Third base is the only position Valencia has played in the Majors, but he has played 28 games at first base in the Minors and has been working at second base in training camp.

"Danny's going to be adequate at second," manager Ned Yost said. "His natural position is third, so that's where he's going to be best, and he's going to be adequate at first. That's what you want."

Nothing is decided, of course, but it is possible the Royals could open the season with just one backup infielder. Look at the numbers: nine regulars, probably 12 pitchers, a backup catcher and two backup outfielders in Jarrod Dyson and Justin Maxwell. That makes 24, leaving room for one extra infielder.

If that infielder is Valencia -- and the Royals like the idea of his right-handed bat coming off the bench or as an alternative at first base for Eric Hosmer or at third base for Mike Moustakas -- then they would not have a true shortstop in reserve for Alcides Escobar. Valencia says he can handle that job.

"Am I a Gold Glove shortstop?" Valencia said. "Who you gonna compare me with, a J.J. Hardy or an Escobar? Am I one of those guys? Probably not, but can I do the job and hold down the fort for a game or two games? I'm sure I can."

In case of a real emergency, the Royals can have a shortstop ready to quickly move from Triple-A Omaha.

Always in the background to roster decision-making in Spring Training is the issue of Minor League options. Valencia is out of options, and so is Pedro Ciriaco, a natural shortstop who has been a big league backup there. In the outfield, Dyson, Maxwell and Carlos Peguero are also out of options. So there is a risk of losing any of them if they are not on the Opening Day roster.

Middle infielders need a certain amount of range. Valencia's range?

"I think it's solid; I think it's serviceable," he said. "Am I Escobar? No. But I think I can definitely get over there and play there. I'm faster than I've ever been. This offseason I worked a lot on my speed and agility, so I feel like I move around pretty well."

Valenica, who helped the University of Miami appear in the 2006 World Series, was a 19th-round choice of the Twins in that year's Draft. He surfaced in the big leagues in 2010 and did well enough (.311, 40 RBIs in 85 games) to finish third in the American League Rookie of the Year voting.

His slam off Greinke and four total hits came in his 28th game that year and during a hot streak.

"Coming into that, I had back-to-back three-hit games so, coming into that, I was 3-for-5, 3-for-5, 4-for-4, 4-for-5 in four games," Valencia said. "I was like, wow, I've got this thing figured out. You know how baseball is; it's up and down. It's all a process."

The 2011 season was down in terms of average -- Valencia batted .246, but with 15 homers, 28 doubles and 72 RBIs in 154 games. When he sputtered at the start of 2012, he was sent to Triple-A Rochester and in August was traded to Boston.

"I fell into the trap of being one of those guys who have struggled a little bit and started listening to everything because you want to be the coachable guy," Valencia said of his waning days with the Twins. "Some of the things they had me do and implemented into my swing in the offseason going into 2012 didn't really work for me. And it was really hard for me to figure it out that year."

That winter, Boston sent him to Baltimore, and he split last season between the Orioles and Triple-A Norfolk. Valencia said he noticed improvement after he got "back to basics." He had a .286 average for Norfolk and .304 for Baltimore. Between the clubs, he had 22 homers and 74 RBIs in 117 games.

Valencia, 29, has acquired one of those labels that are rampant in baseball: Can hit only left-handed pitchers. In fact last year, among AL hitters with at least 100 plate appearances, he led the league with a .371 average against lefties.

But bring that up, and...

"You're insinuating that he can't hit right-handed pitching," Yost said.

Not exactly true, of course. Valencia's career average of .329 against lefties is 100 points higher than his average against righties. But Valencia has batted nearly twice as often against right-handers and has 21 of his 33 homers against them.

"It started just recently," Valencia said of that label. "You don't get to the big leagues only hitting left-handed pitching. I think it's one of those things where I've had so much success against lefties -- way more success against lefties than righties -- it's easy to say that. But I think last year I felt more comfortable in the limited at-bats I had against right-handed pitching."

And don't forget -- Greinke is a right-hander.


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New Royal Danny Valencia maintains he’s versatile at plate

DannyValencia
SURPRISE, Ariz. — Danny Valencia loves hitting left-handed pitching. He hates the suggestion that’s all he’s about as a ballplayer.

“I didn’t get through the minor leagues hitting only left-handed pitching,” Valencia said.

That’s precisely the attitude Royals manager Ned Yost desires, and Valencia will get his opportunities to contribute beyond what has become his greatest strength in four major-league seasons.

Valencia, acquired from Baltimore in exchange for outfielder David Lough, owns a career .329 batting average against southpaws, with a .367 on-base percentage and .513 slugging percentage.

Those numbers against righties: .229/.269/.360.

But Valencia, who played third base in the majors and first base in college, will get his shot in camp.

“Every time we played against him, he opened our eyes a little bit,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “We’ve got to see him in game situations. His numbers suggest he’s a lot better against left-handers, but it’s too early to make a judgment.

“You don’t want to pigeonhole a guy in your mind that he’s only a platoon player. Players continue to develop and get better. If I pigeonholed a player, it takes away from his ability to be everything he can be. You have to let it play out, see exactly what he is.”

Last year in Baltimore, Valencia appeared in 52 games, mostly as a designated hitter. He played six games at third. In 2011, he was the Twins’ regular third basemen, playing 147 games there in his first full major-league season.

Valencia did a short stint with the Red Sox before landing in Baltimore last year, but the Orioles were set on the corners with Manny Machado at third and Chris Davis at first.

“It was going to be tough getting on the field last year,” Valencia said.

So it appears to be this year with Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer on the corners for the Royals. When the Royals made the deal, the idea was for Valencia to be available to spell both. Designated hitter is less of an option with Billy Butler in that role.

Yost said Valencia could play some left field, even second base at spring training.

“We’re going to move guys around,” Yost said.

The second-base hint may be telling. If the Royals keep 12 pitchers and five outfielders, with Butler as the DH and two catchers, they’re likely down to one reserve infielder slot and will need versatility.

Whatever happens, Valencia is up to the challenge. He experienced disappointment coming out of high school in Boca Raton, Fla. Valencia dreamed of playing for Miami, but he wasn’t recruited by the Hurricanes.

He attended North Carolina-Greensboro and made the most of it with a conference player-of-the-year performance. That got Miami’s attention, and Valencia transferred and joined the national power, playing first with Ryan Braun at third. The team reached the College World Series in 2006.

Valencia, a 19th-round selection by the Twins in 2006, climbed the pro ranks quickly, making All-Star teams in the Appalachian League, Midwest League and Florida State League in his first three years. He made his major-league debut in 2010 and singled off the Mariners’ Felix Hernandez in his first at-bat.

Valencia’s first home run later that year was more memorable, a grand slam off the Royals’ Zack Greinke.

A right-hander.

“I take great pride in hitting,” Valencia said. “Against righties and lefties.”


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Q&A with new Royals third baseman Danny Valencia

DannyValencia
New Royals third baseman Danny Valencia won’t be at FanFest this weekend (he has a prior commitment), but I chatted with him on Monday.

Valencia made his major-league debut with the Twins in 2010 and he was with Minnesota until being traded in 2012. He was dealt to Baltimore after the 2012 season, and last year was mainly a designated hitter for the Orioles (he was DH in 42 of his 48 games and played third base the other six games).

We talked about a variety of subjects, including his first career home run, which was a grand slam against the Royals’ Zack Greinke, and his hitting prowess against Rays’ left-hander David Price (Valencia has a career .750 average against Price — nine for 12).

•  Did the Royals tell you anything in particularly after the trade?
“When I first heard from Dayton (Moore, the Royals general manager), he told me, ‘We always liked the way you played, we definitely can use your bat, you’re going to get playing time.’ Obviously, with Billy Butler there, I’m expecting to play in the field because I won’t DH at all. That was pretty much the extent of it all.”

•  What do you know of the Royals?
“I played against them a bunch when I was with Minnesota. I know they were very young when I played against them, and now it seems the young talent is really meshing well together and they have a group of guys, a good core of guys, very similar to what Baltimore had. It’s definitely an exciting team.”

•  What do you think of Kansas City? Did you get to go out much when you were with a visiting team?
“I’ve always enjoying going to Kansas City. As a player, we stayed on the Plaza. There’s nothing but nice things to say about it. They have nice restaurants there, they have a nice bit of shopping, it’s a really nice Midwest city and I always really, really enjoyed going there.”

•  What can you say about that first career home run?
“It’s funny, because at the time, before I got called up, I hadn’t hit a home run at Triple-A (Rochester) before that grand slam against Greinke. So it was kind of weird. It was in July, I think, when I did it, and I almost forgot what it was like to hit a home run. But it’s something I’ll never forget. It’s one of my better baseball moments that I’ll cherish.”

•  Do you remember what Greinke threw you?
“I want to say it was a 3-2 fastball.”

•  The Royals will be your fourth team in three years. Are there any challenges to switching organizations that frequently?
“I don’t really count my Boston experience (10 games in 2012) as feeling like I was part of the team. I was there for such a short period of time, only a month. It’s definitely different, because you have to meet the guys again and establish these relationships and to some extent you feel a little weird at first. But then you realize that all the guys are very similar and we all have the same goals in mind, so it’s not that tough. But it’s definitely cool to live in different places and play on different teams and be part of different organizations.”

•  You’ve played for Ron Gardenhire, Bobby Valentine and Buck Showalter. Can you share any secrets about those managers?
“Those guys are or were at their positions for a reason. I’ve enjoyed playing for all the managers I’ve played for. I’ve been fortunate enough to play for guys I’ve really respected. Playing for Buck Showalter, I’ve never met a manager who is more prepared than him. It’s definitely nice knowing that you had a manager who is going to put you in the position to be successful. That’s pretty nice to see as a player, that’s for sure.”

•  Finally, what’s your secret for hitting David Price?
“It’s funny, I get asked that a bunch. But there isn’t a reason for that. I always say who says that the next time I face him that he isn’t going to strike me out three times? I’ve been fortunate to get some good pitches to hit and even more fortunate to hit some of those balls, and some of those balls find some holes. It’s just one of those things. Some guys who maybe don’t have as good stuff as David Price get me out a lot easier than a guy who has really good stuff. You see the ball better maybe. But there’s only one way to go and we both know the answer to that one.”


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Royals Acquire Danny Valencia

DannyValencia
The Orioles announced that they have acquired outfielder David Lough from the Royals in exchange for infielder Danny Valencia.

Valencia, 29, split 117 games between Baltimore and Triple-A Norfolk last season, being recalled to the Major Leagues on May 19.  In 170 plate appearances last year for the O's, he had a .304/.330/.553 slash line to go with eight homers.  The 29-year-old has seen scattered MLB action since a mediocre stint as the Twins' everyday third bagger in 2011, however.  Valencia has spent parts of four seasons in the Major Leagues with Minnesota (2010-12), Boston (2012) and Baltimore (2013). 

Lough, 27, hit .286/.311/.413 in 96 games for Kansas City in 2013, playing all three outfield positions. He finished eighth in the AL Rookie of the Year balloting and led all rookies in WAR, as noted by the O's press release.  The outfielder also finished the season with a stellar 27.3 UZR/150 rating, good for sixth amongst all outfielders in baseball.


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Orioles trying to trade Danny Valencia

DannyValencia
Jen Royle of the Boston Herald reports that the Orioles are exploring options to trade Danny Valencia.

It makes sense to try to sell high on Valencia after he batted a surprising .304/.335/.553 with eight homers in 51 games for the Orioles last season. There's no word on who might be interested, but the Marlins would make a lot of sense since they're looking for a third baseman and Valencia grew up just outside Miami.


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Marlins trade rumors: Miami targets Danny Valencia as third base replacement

DannyValencia
The Miami Marlins have an interest in filling their open third base position despite the presence of in-house options like Donovan Solano and Ed Lucas. The Fish are looking to upgrade at the position, and according to Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun-Sentinel, they could be looking everywhere for any sort of solution.
The Miami Marlins are looking at anything and everything in their quest to upgrade at third base. Among the options they’re considering: Mat Gamel.

A couple of names to monitor on the trade market: Danny Valencia and Josh Harrison. The Orioles like Valencia, a Miami native and product of Spanish River Community High School in Boca Raton, as insurance for Manny Machado...

In addition to third, the right-handed hitting Harrison also has spent time at second, short and the outfield. Though he doesn’t bring much power to the table, some in the Marlins’ front office find Harrison intriguing.

The Marlins are indeed searching high and low for potential options. Outside of two of those players being native Floridians (Gamel is from Jacksonville, Valencia is from Miami and was drafted from the University of Miami), these three players have very little in common.

If you are looking for a more defensively-polished player, Danny Valencia may be an option. The former Miami Hurricane played third base primarily in the majors and minors, though he did spend time at first base as well in the minors. He also boasts a career .263/.302/.412 (.311 wOBA) batting line in the majors, making his bat likely better than Gamel's. That line was boosted by 170 plate appearances of excellent ball last season for the Baltimore Orioles, as he hit .304/.335/.553 (.381 wOBA) and hit eight homers in that time frame.

Valencia's issue is that, while he has not been moved to first base in the bigs, he may be on his way. He has been a net negative defender in the majors for his career and spent most of last year at DH for the Orioles. Baltimore, however, may still be interested in Valencia at third base, mostly because Manny Machado is still recovering from left knee surgery following a medial patellar femoral ligament tear. The Marlins have discussed a swap for Valencia involving the team's hottest trade commodity, Logan Morrison, but Baltimore seems reluctant to make a move.

If the bat is less important than the glove, Josh Harrison may be an option from the Pittsburgh Pirates. Harrison has spent limited time at third base, as he has served as a utility backup infielder for much of his Major League career. So far, he has performed well, logging around 10 runs above average in just a third of a season of play. Of course, that rate is not likely to stick next season, but Miami may be happy to acquire such an effective defender, even if the bat is less than stellar. Harrison has a career .314/.370/.486 (.383 wOBA) in less than a full season in Triple-A, but he looks the part of a utility infielder at the plate so far in the majors (career .250/.282/.367 line).

Of the three options listed here, Miami's best bet for production next season would likely be Valencia, regardless of the strangely positive projection for Harrison (.269/.310/.396, .307 wOBA, 1.4 WAR in 350 plate appearances). Miami's best bet for future projection may very well be Harrison, who is the youngest of the three players at age 26 right now. If his hitting improves a little and his defense remains firm, Miami could be looking at a solid lower-tier starter and perhaps even an average or so player under team control for four years. The cheapest option would be Gamel, who is coming off of injury and would cost Miami nothing but free agent money.

The Logan Morrison trade looms large over the Marlins and may determine the team's immediate third base future. These are but three options for Miami. Stay tuned for more on Fish Stripes!


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Danny Valencia: One Of The Hottests Hitters Of The Month

DannyValencia
What do people think of when talking about the past month of Baltimore Orioles baseball? The struggle of the lineup to make it count with runners in scoring position, Chris Davis breaking Brady Anderson‘s franchise record for single-season home runs, and the end of the season creeping up on us all with the Orioles battling for a wild card spot come to mind. What about Danny Valencia? The hottest hitter in the past month on the Orioles roster has made the most out of what he has been given this year and has delivered many crucial hits to keep Baltimore fighting for an extension on their 2013 campaign.

In the past 28 days, the 28-year old from the University of Miami has posted a batting line that is only seen in video games. Valencia is batting .447 with a slugging percentage of .809 and 38 total bases since August 22nd and even more impressive of these 28 games he has only 13 of them and is still putting up fantastic numbers. Most recently Valencia tripled in the top of the 9th on Monday night against the Red Sox, this hit was eventually driven in by a Matt Weiters sacrifice fly and gave the O’s a much needed win in Boston. Valencia has done it all, he has started and performed well (4 hits including one double in a loss to the Yankees on the 11th), but has also come in as a pinch batter and has delivered clutch hits.

Valencia has played with the Norfolk Tides for the majority of this year but has impressed Buck Showalter enough to pull him up on the expanded 40-man roster and that move has payed off for the Orioles. Valencia has cracked the starting lineup in 8 of the last 10 games and in that stretch has compiled a batting average of .393 and 8 RBI’s. He has given the Orioles a reliable bat this past month, in a span of games where the ability of the O’s to score with runners in scoring position has been tested and has cost the Orioles quite a few games. It is in Showalter’s best interest to keep penciling this kid into the batting rotation, he’s worked hard to get pulled up to the expanded roster and has put himself into a position to become a mainstay in the Orioles lineup for the rest of the 2013 regular season.


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Danny Valencia could earn more at-bats against right-handers

DannyValencia
Designated hitter Danny Valencia was already batting a major league-leading .548 (23-for-42) since Aug. 4 before his three-run home run in the eighth inning Thursday night.

But while the right-handed Valencia has mostly been used against left-handers, his game-tying homer came against Yankees righty David Robertson.

Robertson is an unusual case, though. He actually has a lower opponents’ average against left-handed batters (.162) than against right-handed batters (.248), which is part of the reason why Orioles manager Buck Showalter stuck with Valencia.

Showalter did say Valencia could be lined up for other chances against right-handers if he continues his hot streak.

"Danny's in a good place right now, and I'll continue to match him up, but the way he's handling himself, that's how you get dictated more opportunities," Showalter said. "He's been a real contributor for us."

For the season, Valencia is batting .194 against right-handers and .385 against lefties.


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Danny Valencia Stays Hot

DannyValencia
The Baltimore Orioles inched a game closer in the Wildcard standings yesterday with a great collective pitching performance and a two run double from Danny Valencia as the Birds took two of three from the Blue Jays with a 3-1 victory Sunday afternoon.

Valencia came through with the big hit of the day, again, for the Orioles. Trailing 1-0 in the top of the third inning, Baltimore had runners on first and second with two outs, and Valencia scorched a ball down the left field line to score two and give the O's a lead that they would not relinquish.

Baltimore's other run came in the fourth inning when Chris Davis worked a bases loaded walk after being down 0-2 in the count.

Valencia led the way with two RBI, while Nick Markakis had the lone multi hit game going 2-4 with a run scored.


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Danny Valencia Performing at Career High Levels

DannyValencia
DH Danny Valencia tied a career high with his 4-for-4 effort. He went 3-for-3 off starter Andy Pettitte. Valencia's now gone 30-for-78 (.385) off left-handed pitchers this season. But he's been hot overall since Aug. 4, hitting .564 (22-for-39), the best average among major leaguers with at least 35 at-bats in that time period.




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Danny Valencia talks about his red-hot bat

DannyValencia
To say the least, Danny Valencia is a hot hitter.

Valencia will bat fifth as the DH tonight for the Orioles against CC Sabathia and the Yankees in the opener of a four-game series.

On the year, Valencia is batting .314 with seven homers, 15 RBIs and a .973 OPS in 33 games.

But in his last nine games, he has eight multi-hit games. Even being optioned to the minors couldn't slow him down. His hot hitting began when he went 2-for-4 with a homer Aug. 4 against the Mariners.

Two days later he returned to Triple-A Norfolk, only to come back to the Orioles on Aug. 19 and resume the hitting.

Over those nine games, Valencia is batting .563 at 18-for-32 with six doubles, three homers and seven RBIs. The .563 average, according to STATS, is the second highest in a nine-game span in the majors this year behind Robinson Cano's .571 mark (20-for-35) from Aug. 12-20.

Is Valencia just locked in right now?

"I think every hitter goes through points where they are hot and cold and you just want to try and balance it out and be as consistent as possible," he said. "It's definitely one of the better streaks I've been on in my career and hopefully I keep it going."

He is known as a player that can hit left-handed pitching and this year for the Orioles is batting .375 in 75 at-bats against southpaws and .167 in 30 at-bats vs. right-handed pitching.

He'd eventually like to be known as someone that could play every day against all pitchers.

"Absolutely, that is my goal," Valencia said. "I don't think anyone is content being a guy that just faces a lefty or a righty. Everybody's goal is to play every day and that is certainly my goal. I believe in myself that, if given the chance, could contribute off right-handed pitching."


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Player Watch - Danny Valecia Orioles

DannyValencia
DH Danny Valencia is hitting against one of his old teams. He went 2-for-3 Tuesday night and is 6-for-12 with a double, homer and an RBI against the Red Sox this season.





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Price has been right for Orioles' Danny Valencia

DannyValencia
Orioles infielder/designated hitter Danny Valencia said he knew he had hit pretty well in his career against Tampa Bay Rays ace David Priceicon1, but he wasn’t sure of the exact numbers.

When he stepped to the plate in the second inning Monday, he saw the stats on the video board: He was 7-for-10 lifetime with two RBIs against Price. And then Valencia hit a RBI double in his first at-bat and also singled and walked in three plate appearances against the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner.

“Obviously, I saw it up on the scoreboard. I thought, ‘It can only go down from here,'” Valencia joked. “And then [later] I was like, ‘Wow, it went up.’”
Valencia said he can’t pinpoint why he is hitting a mind-boggling .750 against Price.

“I don’t think I necessarily see him better than other guys,” said Valencia, who is hitting .244 in 78 at-bats this season with the Orioles. “I just think he is a guy I’ve had success against because maybe I’ve gotten ahead in the count and he’s had to give me pitches I could hit. That’s not to say the next time I face him he doesn’t strike me out three times.”

Valencia was recalled from Triple-A Norfolk on Monday – and don’t think the timing was coincidental. Not only did the Orioles promote Valencia to face Price, but Orioles manager Buck Showalter said the club was aware of how Valencia hit Price when they acquired him for cashicon1 considerations from the Boston Red Sox in November.

“That’s one of the things you file in the back [of your mind] when you sign him in the offseason,” Showalter said. “We were looking at that. There’s not many of them floating around and we had a feeling we might face David Price this year. So, yeah, we look at those things.”

Showalter said 10 at-bats isn’t a huge sample size, but they were impressed with his types of hits and the quality of at-bats. Showalter said when he talked to Valencia on Monday he told the right-handed hitter that, at the very least, Valencia can have a career handling tough lefties.

“At 28, I don’t want him to think he is a specialist against left-handed pitching, but it is something that he is very good at and can carve a niche for him at the worst,” Showalter said. “Think about it as the worst-case scenario. You are gonna have people interested in you, including us, because the niche you have carved out for yourself. This was before he got two more hits. … It ain’t that easy. David Price is pretty good.”

Showalter was asked if he could put a finger on Valencia’s success against Price.

“I know exactly what it is and I’m going to broadcast it here now,” Showalter joked. “It’s one of those things, I’m afraid to ask him. ‘What is it on this guy? What do you do? Why are you different? So we can share your knowledge with everybody else.’ I kind of know what the answer is. See it, hit it.”


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Danny Valencia Called Up

DannyValencia
BALTIMORE ORIOLES — Sent 3B Wilson Betemit to Frederick (Carolina) for a rehab assignment. Recalled DH Danny Valencia from Norfolk (IL).





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Valencia sent to Triple-A with Urrutia in mind

DannyValencia
KANSAS CITY -- Danny Valencia was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk prior to Wednesday's game against the Royals to clear a roster spot for new Orioles reliever Francisco Rodriguez, giving manager Buck Showalter an eight-man bullpen and a chance to take an extended look at designated hitter Henry Urrutia.

Urrutia, in the starting lineup for the third time since being promoted on Friday, figures to get some at-bats the next few days with the Orioles slated to face four consecutive right-handed starters.

"We'll see what each day brings and what the needs of our players are every night, including Henry," Showalter said. "Initially, that's the idea, but we'll see what each day presents.

Showalter has been impressed with Urrutia's at-bats in a small sample size, with the rookie going 4-for-12 with two RBIs entering Wednesday. While reliever Jair Asencio, a likely candidate to be optioned, would have had to go on waivers, the right-handed hitting Valencia has options and will go back to being an everyday player at Norfolk.

"There's a lot of reasons," Showalter said. "I want Danny to get some consistent at-bats [at Norfolk] again. He went down there last time and swung the bat real well. I want to err on the side of pitching anytime we can, but things could change."


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Danny Valencia joining team in Texas

DannyValencia
The Orioles are expected to make at least one roster move before resuming their season Friday night in Texas

Danny Valencia no longer is with Triple-A Norfolk. I've heard that he's headed to Texas and will officially be recalled before the game.

Valencia is batting .230/.277/.508 with five doubles, four homers and eight RBIs in 21 games with the Orioles this season. He's posted a .282/.317/.487 line against left-handed pitchers.

Valencia was batting .314/.350/.607 with 18 doubles, 12 homers and 44 RBIs in 48 games with Norfolk. He's mostly been playing first base since being optioned on July 3, but will resume his role as a right-handed designated hitter and pinch-hitter with the Orioles.

The Orioles optioned Valencia to make room for Scott Feldman on the 25-man roster.

How will they make room for Valencia on Friday?

One possibility is putting outfielder Nolan Reimold on the disabled list. Reimold, who's out of minor league options, is batting .195/.250/.336 this season. He's 6-for-27 with one home run and 11 strikeouts since being activated.

Reimold went on the disabled list May 18 with a strained right hamstring.


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Orioles option Danny Valencia to Triple-A Norfolk

DannyValencia
CHICAGO – The Orioles optioned designated hitter Danny Valencia to Triple-A Norfolk before Wednesday’s game to make room for new acquisition Scott Feldman, who made his debut with the team Wednesday night against the Chicago White Sox.

Valencia batted .230/.277/.508 with four homers and 15 RBIs in 61 at-bats with the Orioles, providing a right-handed bat with pop against left-handed pitching.

With the Orioles facing three left-handed starters in Chicago, Valencia seemed an option to remain on the roster. But Nolan Reimold’s return from the disabled list, and his ability to fill the designated hitter slot against lefties, made Valencia optionable. Also, the Orioles wanted to keep utility man Ryan Flaherty’s positional flexibility as Reimold and second baseman Brian Roberts have just returned from the DL.

“We wanted to get Danny some consistent at-bats [at Norfolk] and we want to keep the versatility of some other guys for the time being,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “It could be short-term. Nobody’s going away. We like how Danny can help us. It’s just where we were at a certain time.”

“Until we get our arm around [the roster] — Nolan and Brian have played one and two games [entering Wednesday night] — we want to cover ourselves with someone who can play those two spots if there [are] any issues,” Showalter added.

Valencia made just four starts over the past two weeks and was hitless in his past 13 at-bats. Asked if he felt he showed what he could do with the Orioles, Valencia said it was difficult doing so while playing sporadically.

“I feel like I did and I didn’t,” Valencia said. “It’s hard when you don’t play sometimes for four or five days. It’s definitely challenging. But I felt like I had some good at-bats. Recently it’s been tough to get some at-bats. But I guess that’s part of being not an everyday player, being a guy that can come off the bench. So it was tough.”


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Danny Valencia wants to be latest Oriole to contribute off bench

DannyValencia
Maybe it won't be as dramatic as what Alexi Casilla did last night, but Danny Valencia would like a repeat. Last night, Casilla, who hasn't had much playing time recently, hit a key three-run homer in an Orioles win.

It can be hard to sit for a while as a reserve and then start and come up big for the team, but that is the role of the bench player to try and stay ready when he gets a chance.

Valencia gets his shot tonight batting eighth against Cleveland in the DH spot.

"You go through your routine every day and prepare like you are playing in every game, taking quality batting practice, watching video and staying loose while the game is going on," Valencia said. "Hopefully with those things, you can put yourself in a position to have some success, although it is tough.

"You want to go up there feeling prepared. The last thing you want is to have a feeling of being under-prepared when your name is called. The results will handle themselves as long as the preparation is there."

So does a player not starting every night want to take a few pitches early in the game to settle in a bit?

"Obviously you definitely want to see some pitches and get your timing when you are in and out of the lineup as much as we are," Valencia said. "But at the same time, you want to pick your spots. Sometimes the game dictates you may be swinging and aggressive early in the count.

"I feel good that I've been able to keep myself in shape and stay with my routine. Getting my BP in, feel pretty good."

Valencia is batting .269 in 17 games. But he really hits left-handed pitching well. He is 11-for-30 off southpaws, batting .367 with an OPS of 1.040 and he'll face Cleveland lefty Scott Kamir tonight.

"I think right handers have the advantage to see the ball pretty well against lefties," Valencia said. "But I feel pretty good against right-handers also."


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Danny Valencia not on Biogenesis list

DannyValencia
On Tuesday night, ESPN reported that Major League Baseball was prepared hand out stiff penalties to players implicated in the Biogenesis scandal. A list of about 20 players was included in the report. Orioles infielder Danny Valencia was not on that list.

In February, Yahoo Sports obtained a document that linked Valencia to the anti-aging clinic run by Anthony Bosch. 

Valencia issued a denial early in spring training.

“Basically I’ve never had any contact with those people. I’ve never met Tony Bosch, never seen him, never been to that clinic, never heard of that clinic until the New Times story first broke,” Valencia said. That being said, I’ve never ever taken a PED in my life, never failed a drug test in my life and I never will.”

The report did not link Valencia with use of performance-enhancing drugs. Valencia, who was acquired by the Orioles from Boston last November said he was shocked when his name surfaced.

“I was really upset. I was trying to think of how this can possibly be. But I have nothing, I know just as much as everybody else,” Valencia said.  
After Tuesday night’s game in Houston, Valencia reiterated his February denial.

 “I have nothing really to say about that,” he told reporters. “I pretty much said everything in spring training. What I said in spring training, I stand by.”


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Danny Valencia homers as O's take road trip opener

DannyValencia
Chris Tillman pitched a very solid seven innings, Danny Valencia homered and Nate McLouth manufactured a run on the bases as the Orioles beat Houston, 4-1, tonight to start a three-game series and six-game road trip.

The win was the Orioles' fifth in six games and 10th in the last 14. They also snapped Houston's six-game win streak. The Orioles are 18-12 on the road and 33-25 overall.

The O's took a 2-0 lead in the third. Valencia hit an opposite-field homer to right. It's his third of the season and third over his last seven games and 17 at-bats. Later in the inning, Manny Machado picked up his big league leading 26th double and then scored on an error.

The Orioles picked up big insurance runs in the eighth and ninth. McLouth singled and then stole second and third in the eighth and came home on a throwing error by catcher Jason Castro. McLouth is 21-for-22 in steals this season. In the ninth, J.J. Hardy doubled with two outs and scored on a Ryan Flaherty single.


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Danny Valencia breaks Orioles' pinch-hitting slump

DannyValencia
Entering Sunday’s series finale with Detroit, the Orioles bench had struggled throughout the year in contributing late in games, hitting just 1-for-18 in pinch-hit situations.

But against the Tigers, the Orioles got their first pinch hit since May 20 when Danny Valencia knocked in the tying run on a single to right field off Tigers reliever Phil Coke in the seventh inning.

“I knew he had good stuff,” Valencia said. “I actually saw both of his pitches. He threw me a fastball first pitch and a slider second pitch. I was hoping to put it in play and get the run in.”

Before Valencia’s bloop single, Chris Dickerson was the last Oriole to notch a pinch hit. Dickerson singled against the New York Yankees on May 20 in a 6-4 loss.

Valencia pinch hit in Saturday’s 10-3 loss, but he flied out to left field against Tigers reliever Drew Smyly. The 28-year-old has appeared in eight games this season and is batting .250 those appearances.

“It’s definitely tough, but [assistant coach] Einar Diaz keeps us in the batting cage and we are able to stay loose,” Valencia said. “I felt decent going in there. More comfortable facing a lefty than I would be facing a righty in that situation. But fortunately it went my way.”

Valencia’s day was just part of a solid performance by the Orioles bench. After his single, Alexi Casilla pinch-ran and scored the go-ahead run on left fielder Nate McLouth’s single up the middle. In the eighth, Casilla provided the Orioles insurance by doubling over the head of Tigers left fielder Andy Dirks to score first baseman Chris Davis.

For the Orioles to keep up with their late-inning heroics — three of their past four wins have been comebacks — they’ll need the bench to contribute like Valencia and Casilla did Sunday.

“Danny's wasn't pretty, but he's hit a couple balls on the button that they caught, too,” Showalter said. “That was a key hit.”


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Danny Valencia brings versatility to Orioles

DannyValencia
BALTIMORE – Danny Valencia was hitting too well at Norfolk for the Orioles to ignore. Valencia was batting .306 in 40 games for the Tides, and he was placed in the lineup as the designated hitter on Sunday.

“You never know what to expect, so it’s definitely surprising,”  Valencia said.

He was told on Saturday afternoon when the team was in Durham, N.C., and caught a flight to Baltimore.

Wearing No. 35, Valencia, who was acquired over the winter from Boston, has played a few games recently in the outfield, but is primarily a designated hitter. He plays third and third, but isn’t likely to get playing time there.

Norfolk began play with a 29-14 record with L.J. Hoes, Jason Pridie and Travis Ishikawa all hitting .300 or better.

“The whole lineup has been doing well. I capitalized on a lot of the mistakes they’ve given me,” Valencia said.

“The streak that I was on down there was probably one of the better streaks I’ve had in my career.”

The right-handed hitter replaces Ryan Flaherty on the roster and hopes he can stay here for a while.

“It’s the best situation when you feel like you deserve a chance. I hope it turns out well,” Valencia said.


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Danny Valencia makes Orioles' debut

DannyValencia
BALTIMORE — Danny Valencia’s Baltimore Orioles debut went well when he ripped a double in his first at-bat Sunday afternoon, one day after the 28-year-old got word he was being promoted from Class AAA Norfolk.

Valencia replaced struggling second baseman Ryan Flaherty, who was optioned following Baltimore’s 10-6 loss to Tampa Bay, and was the Orioles’ designated hitter Sunday against the Rays. He was hitting .306 with the Tides before his call-up and saw time recently as an outfielder. Valencia can play infield as well, but it’s unlikely he’ll play second with Alexi Casilla and Yamaico Navarro on the roster.

Valencia had seven home runs in his last 10 games with Norfolk, and had 14 doubles, 11 homers, and 35 RBIs on the season.

“It’s the best situation when you feel like you deserve a chance,” Valencia said before Sunday’s game. “I hope it turns out well.”

He went 1 for 3 Sunday against Tampa Bay starter Matt Moore and nearly hit a homer in the seventh inning, a fly ball that center fielder Desmond Jennings caught on the warning track just in front of the 410-foot sign.

Orioles manager Buck Showalter said Valencia’s long fly “definitely wouldn’t have been a home run at Norfolk. But he had some good swings off a tough left-hander. It’s kind of the resume he brings, so hopefully we’ll see him again tomorrow and see how he does.”


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Danny Valencia's 3-run homer helps Tides top Buffalo

DannyValencia
Danny Valencia's three-run homer in the fifth inning gave the Tides the lead for good, and Norfolk went to an 8-4 victory over Buffalo in an International League game Wednesday night.

Valencia's shot, his fifth homer of the season, capped a two-out rally as Norfolk erased a 3-2 deficit. Yamaico Navarro reached on a bunt single and Lew Ford walked ahead of Valencia's homer.

The first-place Tides (22-11) moved two games ahead of Durham in the IL South.

Jason Pridie led off the game with a home run, his sixth of the year. L.J. Hoes added three hits for Norfolk, which has won 5 of 7 games this month.

Starter Jair Jurrjens (4-1) pitched six innings. He shut out Buffalo after giving up three runs in the first inning. He allowed four hits, struck out three and walked one.

The teams conclude their four-game series this afternoon. The Tides then play four in Syracuse before returning home Tuesday.


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Danny Valencia's 3-run blast propels Tides to victory

DannyValencia
Danny Valencia belted a three-run shot in the seventh inning and the Norfolk Tides rolled to an 11-4 win on Friday, completing a four-game series with host Charlotte on the last leg of an 11-game road trip.

Valencia's homer put the Tides (13-9) up 9-0 in the top of the seventh before Charlotte (7-16) got two runs on a Jim Gallagher single in the bottom half.

Valencia also hit an RBI single in the eighth and finished 3 for 5 with four RBIs.

The Knights' Steve Tolleson, a former Tide, added a two-run homer in the ninth.

Jake Arrieta (1-0) got the win, striking out eight while giving up no runs on three hits in six innings.

The Tides will open an eight-game homestand at 7:05 tonight against Toledo.


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Orioles option infielder Danny Valencia

DannyValencia
SARASOTA, Fla. -- The Orioles optioned third baseman Danny Valencia to Triple-A Norfolk during Thursday’s Grapefruit League game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Valencia, who was acquired from the Boston Red Sox this offseason for cash considerations, was 10-for-31 this spring. He hit a game-winning solo home run in the Orioles’ 8-7 win over the Red Sox on Tuesday in Fort Myers, his only one of the spring.

The 28-year-old Valencia entered camp as a possible right-handed designated hitter because of his .316/.359/.472 career batting line against right-handed pitching. He also competed for a utility infield spot this spring, playing both third base and first base.

Valeneica will likely open the season at the starting third baseman at Norfolk.

This offseason, Valencia's name appeared on a list tied to a Miami-area anti-aging clinic that is being investigated by MLB for supplying major league players with performance-enhancing drugs. Valencia addressed the report on the first day of camp, denying that he's every used PEDs.

The move trims the Orioles big league camp roster to 44 players, including 12 non-roster invitees.


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Danny Valencia's ninth-inning homer powers O's

DannyValencia
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Danny Valencia pummeled a solo homer over the Green Monster with two outs in the top of the ninth to break a tie and lead the Orioles to an 8-7 victory over the Red Sox on Tuesday at JetBlue Park.

The third baseman played for Boston during the latter part of last season and is likely to start this year at Baltimore's Triple-A Norfolk affiliate.

Down 7-1 entering the bottom of the eighth, Boston rallied with a six-spot. Mike Carp, Jeremy Hazelbaker, Mauro Gomez, Jonathan Diaz and Jackie Bradley Jr. all had RBI hits for the Red Sox during the rally.

Orioles lefty Brian Matusz, who is trying to earn a rotation spot, wasn't unhittable, but he still got the job done. Over five innings, Matusz scattered six hits and a run, walking one and striking out two.

"For me, I have the mentality of wanting to build up pitches and innings and be a starter this year, and that's my mentality and taking advantage of the opportunity when [manager Buck Showalter] gives me the ball."

Would Matusz be disappointed if he doesn't land a starting job?

"You know what? That's really not on my mind right now," said Matusz. "My focus is just taking care of working out in the weight room … staying on my cuff program and just getting stronger, staying in good shape, keep competing and let those things fall into place."
Showalter said Matusz is still in the mix for a starting job.

"Nobody's really taken a step back," said Showalter. "We got a little less than two weeks, so we'll continue to take in the looks we have and try to make a good decision."

Is it too early in Matusz's career to consign him to the bullpen?

"I don't know about consign," said Showalter. "There are guys that go to the bullpen and come back to start."

In 68 games as a starter, Matusz is 21-33 with a 5.51 ERA. In 18 relief appearances, he's 1-0 with a 1.35 ERA.

"I'll be frank with you," said Showalter. "If he hadn't had the success he had in the bullpen, we probably wouldn't be having this decision. So it bodes well for him as far as his ability to make our club in some form. It does have something to do with some of the thinking, but I do not look at it as a bird in hand that he's going to be as successful in the bullpen as he was last year. I got nothing to make me think he wouldn't be, but I think this is the time of year you get in a lot of trouble if you assume something just because it happened last year."


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Danny Valencia on playing first base

DannyValencia
SARASOTA, Fla. - While still recovering from the news that Stone Temple Pilots has fired Scott Weiland. Again...

Danny Valencia is making another start at first base today in Tampa, his second one in four spring training games. He was supposed to play third base yesterday in Bradenton before the cancellation due to rain.

As I wrote a few days ago, Valencia has never played first base in the majors. He appeared in 18 games with rookie-league Elizabethton in 2006, two with Single-A Beloit in 2007 and two with Double-A New Britain in 2008.

"It's been a while," he said earlier this week. "The last time I fully played there was in college, but I've had some games in rookie ball there. I think I'll get used to it quickly."

What's the biggest adjustment on the other wide of the diamond?

"The cuts and relays," he replied. "For me, I think that's going to be the toughest because it's an instinct thing. At third, you know when to break. At first, you've also got to know when to break, but not having played there, you don't have those instincts right away."

I assumed that another adjustment would be knowing when to go for a ball in the hole and when to retreat to the bag.

"I think I've got that pretty good," he said. "Me and Bobby (Dickerson) worked on that a few days ago, so I think I've got that squared away. Right now, it's the cuts and relays for me, to be honest."

Manager Buck Showalter is trying to determine whether Valencia could back up at both positions, along with serving as a right-handed designated hitter.

Approached by Showalter about playing first base this spring, Valencia said, "I didn't think anything about it. Just do it. Obviously, you want to make the team and versatility is a good thing."


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(masnsports.com)
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Danny Valencia moves across the diamond

DannyValencia
DUNEDIN, Fla. - Danny Valencia is making a rare start at first base for the Orioles' exhibition game today against the Toronto Blue Jays.

How rare?

Valencia has never played the position in the majors. He appeared in 18 games with rookie-league Elizabethton in 2006, two with Single-A Beloit in 2007 and two with Double-A New Britain in 2008.

Valencia has played 469 minor league games at third base and 272 in the majors.

"We're going to keep moving guys around," said manager Buck Showalter. "We've got plenty of games. It's not making decisions on Feb. 24. One of the benefits of the WBC is play some more games, get some more looks.

"We're going to move some guys around today as the game progresses. We've got it all (mapped out), this guy's going to go here in such-and-such inning, like all teams do. We're going to get a lot of good looks at guys at first base."

Relievers Jim Johnson and Darren O'Day threw bullpen sessions in Sarasota this morning. Showalter stayed back to watch before making the drive to Dunedin.

Showalter mentioned that a few players have been bothered by flu-like symptoms. Two of them were sent back to their hotel this morning.


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(masnsports.com)
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Danny Valencia assertive in denying PED use

DannyValencia
SARASOTA, Fla. -- In his first public move in an Orioles uniform, infielder Danny Valencia stepped in front of a podium on Wednesday and vehemently denied ever using any performance-enhancing drugs.

Valencia’s name was listed on records obtained by Yahoo Sports from a now-defunct clinic named Biogenesis, which the Miami New Times previously reported had provided PEDs to several major leaguers, including New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez.

Major League Baseball has been investigating Biogenesis and its owner, Anthony Bosch.

Valencia, a 28-year-old trying to resurrect his big league career with the Orioles, immediately issued a statement denying the report, then on Wednesday repeated his denial and took questions from reporters on the day of the team’s first spring training workout. Players linked to PEDs have issued varying denials, but Valencia’s was assertive and definitive.

“Basically, I’ve never had any contact with those people,” Valencia said. “I’ve never met Tony Bosch, never seen him, never been to that clinic, never heard of that clinic until the New Times story first broke. That being said, I’ve never ever taken a PED in my life, never failed a drug test in my life and I never will.”

In the Yahoo report, Valencia’s name appeared on a list that included Rodriguez and Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera, both of whom allegedly received PEDs from Bosch, according to the New Times report. Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun and Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli were also on the list with Valencia, but unlike Rodriguez and Cabrera, they were not linked to receiving any specific PED.

Valencia, acquired from the Boston Red Sox for cashicon1 on Nov. 28, is with his third organization since the beginning of last season. He began his career with the Minnesota Twins, playing 154 games in 2011 and finishing third in American League Rookie of the Year voting, but this spring he finds himself fighting for a 25-man roster spot. He has a minor league option, so he could be sent to Triple-A Norfolk to be the starting third baseman there.

Valencia said he was “absolutely shocked” to hear his named linked to the Biogenesis lab

“When I first got the phone callicon1, I knew I was going to be in the clear,” Valencia said. “I knew I’m not going to get in trouble because there’s nothing they are going to find on me. I’ve never done anything.

“But he only thing that bothered me at the time was how the Orioles organization is going to perceive [it],” he added. “I thought about what [executive vice president] Dan Duquette is going to think, obviously what [manager] Buck [Showalter] is going to think, my teammates. That’s what matters. That was my first feeling, I felt upset about that.”

Valencia said he called Duquette the next morning and told him the report wasn’t true.

“I was really upset,” Valencia said. “I was trying to think of how this can possibly be. But I have nothing, I know just as much as everybody else. … I really don’t know anything. All I know is my name was on a piece of paper.”

Showalter said he will wait until MLB’s investigation into the clinic is complete to make judgment, but said, “where I stand, I choose to stand behind my player.”

“I’ve learned over the years to wait until they gather everything,” Showalter said. “I think there’s still a lot of speculation. We’ll see. … I have a lot of confidence in the people looking over those things. They’re looking into them for the right reasons. We’ll see when they get through gathering all the facts. I’m sure you’ll understand there will be some things that aren’t necessarily the way they’re necessarily portrayed. We’ll see. We’ll wait until everything comes in.”

This offseason, Major League Baseball and the players association agreed to expand testing for human growth hormone to include in-season blood testing. HGH testing during spring training and the offseason began last year.

Showalter said player physicals conducted on Wednesday included blood testing.

“We spent an extra hour in the physical today drawing vials of blood for testing,” he said. “And they’re going to do it again and again and again. And the players, they went, ‘Where’s it at? Yeah, I want to do it.’ Unfortunately a few people make everybody tainted. Believe me, I hear the conversations with our guys.

“But at the same time, I’m not naïve. I also understand the pressure on these guys. You look at the schedule they play and the expectations. I understand the temptation, but at some point we all have to make decisions.”


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(baltimoresun.com)
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Danny Valencia denies any connection to Biogenesis clinic

DannyValencia
SARASOTA, Fla. — In his first public move in a Baltimore Orioles uniform, infielder Danny Valencia stepped in front of a podium on Wednesday and vehemently denied ever using any performance-enhancing drugs.

Valencia’s name was listed on records obtained by Yahoo Sports from a now-defunct clinic named Biogenesis, which the Miami New Times previously reported had provided PEDs to several major leaguers, including New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez.

Major League Baseball has been investigating Biogenesis and its owner, Anthony Bosch.

Valencia, a 28-year-old trying to resurrect his big league career with Baltimore, immediately issued a statement denying the report, then on Wednesday repeated his denial and took questions from reporters on the day of the team’s first spring training workout. Players linked to PEDs have issued varying denials, but Valencia’s was assertive and definitive.

“Basically, I’ve never had any contact with those people,” Valencia said. “I’ve never met Tony Bosch, never seen him, never been to that clinic, never heard of that clinic until the New Times story first broke. That being said, I’ve never ever taken a PED in my life, never failed a drug test in my life and I never will.”

In the Yahoo report, Valencia’s name appeared on a list that included Rodriguez and Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera, both of whom allegedly received PEDs from Bosch, according to the New Times report. Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun and Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli were also on the list with Valencia, but unlike Rodriguez and Cabrera, they were not linked to receiving any specific PED.

Valencia, acquired from the Boston Red Sox for cash on Nov. 28, is with his third organization since the beginning of last season. He began his career with the Minnesota Twins, playing 154 games in 2011 and finishing third in American League Rookie of the Year voting, but this spring he finds himself fighting for a 25-man roster spot. He has a minor league option, so he could be sent to Class AAA Norfolk to be the starting third baseman there.

Valencia said he was “absolutely shocked” to hear his named linked to the Biogenesis lab.

“When I first got the phone call, I knew I was going to be in the clear,” Valencia said. “I knew I’m not going to get in trouble because there’s nothing they are going to find on me. I’ve never done anything.

“But the only thing that bothered me at the time was how the Orioles organization is going to perceive [it],” he added. “I thought about what [executive vice president] Dan Duquette is going to think, obviously what [manager] Buck [Showalter] is going to think, my teammates. That’s what matters. That was my first feeling, I felt upset about that.”

Valencia said he called Duquette the next morning and told him the report wasn’t true.

“I was really upset,” Valencia said. “I was trying to think of how this can possibly be. . . . All I know is my name was on a piece of paper.”

Showalter said he will wait until MLB’s investigation into the clinic is complete to make judgment, but said, “where I stand, I choose to stand behind my player.”

“I’ve learned over the years to wait until they gather everything,” Showalter said. “I think there’s still a lot of speculation. We’ll see. . . . I have a lot of confidence in the people looking over those things. They’re looking into them for the right reasons. We’ll see when they get through gathering all the facts.”

This offseason, Major League Baseball and the players association agreed to expand testing for human growth hormone to include in-season blood testing. HGH testing during spring training and the offseason began last year.


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(washingtonpost.com)
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Danny Valencia denies involvement with Miami drug clinic

DannyValencia
Orioles infielder Danny Valencia has denied any use of performance-enhancing drugs after a report from Yahoo Sports linked him with a Miami clinic that distributed them to major league players.

Valencia, who the Orioles obtained in November from Boston, is not linked with PEDs that were distributed by a Miami clinic, Biogenesis. Several other players including Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun, New York’s Alex Rodriguez and Toronto’s Melky Cabrera were reported to have received PEDs by a Miami newspaper.

Valencia and Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli were on a list of players treated at the clinic. In a statement sent to ESPN.com on Thursday night, Valencia denied use of PEDs.

"As any innocent person would be, I am shocked and troubled that my name is in any way connected to this story," Valencia said in the statement.

"I have never met or spoken to anyone connected with Biogenesis, in fact I had never even heard of this company prior to the New Times’ story. I take tremendous pride in the hard work and dedication I put into being a professional baseball player and have never taken PEDs or failed a drug test of any kind during my career. I look forward to fully cooperating in MLB’s investigation in any way that I can, and will explore taking legal action if this issue is not resolved in a timely fashion."

Valencia is scheduled to report to spring training on Feb. 15 and will no doubt have to answer questions about Biogenesis.


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(csnbaltimore.com)
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Ryan Braun, Danny Valencia listed in records of alleged PED clinic

RyanBraun
Milwaukee Brewers star Ryan Braun's name is in records of the Miami-area clinic alleged to have distributed performance-enhancing drugs to a rash of baseball players, and Major League Baseball will investigate the link to the former MVP who tested positive for illegal synthetic testosterone during the 2011 postseason.

Three of the Biogenesis clinic records obtained by Yahoo! Sports show Braun's name. Unlike the players named by the Miami New Times in its report that blew open the Biogenesis case, Braun's name is not listed next to any specific PEDs. Braun said his attorneys retained the clinic's operator, Anthony Bosch, as a consultant during his appeal for the positive test.

"I have nothing to hide and have never had any other relationship with Bosch," Braun said. "I will fully cooperate with any inquiry into this matter."

MLB is investigating the Biogenesis clinic and Bosch to determine the breadth of his alleged PED dispersal throughout the sport. The league could pursue punishment through non-analytical positives – evidentiary links to players without positive tests – and one source said it will not limit the potential discipline to those whose names are surfacing for the first time, meaning those who have faced suspensions in the past could again be tried.

Braun is on a list that includes Alex Rodriguez, Melky Cabrera and Cesar Carrillo, who the New Times reported received PEDs from Bosch. Also on the list are New York Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli and Baltimore Orioles third baseman Danny Valencia, who weren't listed near PEDs either. The record matches a document the New Times posted with Braun's name redacted and Cervelli and Valencia's cut off.

"Following my foot injury in March 2011, I consulted with a number of experts, including Biogenesis clinic, for legal ways to aid my rehab and recovery," Cervelli said in a statement. "I purchased supplements that I am certain were not prohibited by MLB.''

In a statement, Valencia denied involvement with the clinic and said he would cooperate with MLB's investigation.

"I am shocked and troubled that my name is in any way connected to this story," Valencia said in the statement. "I have never met or spoken to anyone connected with Biogenesis."

Why Braun's name was sandwiched among three alleged users' was not explained by his statement. He referenced his presence on another document, which lists his name along with "RB 20-30K" – explained by Braun's statement as "a dispute over compensation for Bosch's work." Later in the document are multiple mentions of Chris Lyons, one of Braun's attorneys during the 2011-12 offseason when he fought the positive test. When reached by Yahoo! Sports on Tuesday evening, Lyons declined comment. David Cornwell, another of Braun's attorney's, has worked with baseball and football players facing suspensions for PEDs.

DannyValencia
"During the course of preparing for my successful appeal last year, my attorneys, who were previously familiar with Tony Bosch, used him as a consultant," Braun said. "More specifically, he answered questions about [testosterone-to-epitestosterone] ratio and possibilities of tampering with samples."

The nature of their previous relationship is unclear. Sources questioned why Braun, who retained doctors with intimate knowledge of drug testing as experts in his arbitration case, would use Bosch, who was portrayed by the New Times as a rogue chemist and anti-aging guru who passed himself off as a doctor even though he had no medical degree.

While Braun never contested the findings of the test, which found elevated testosterone levels in his urine, a 50-game suspension was overturned after chain-of-custody issues arose from the test-taker keeping the specimen in his basement over the weekend instead of immediately shipping it to a testing lab. Braun denied use of testosterone publicly.

The early portion of MLB's investigation has focused on the web of connections to the University of Miami, where Braun attended college. Carrillo, a pitcher in the Detroit Tigers organization, was Braun's road roommate for three years. Jimmy Goins, a strength-and-conditioning coach at the school and alleged client of Bosch's, worked with Braun during his three years at Miami. Goins has denied a connection to Bosch.

At least two others implicated by the New Times – Washington Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez and San Diego Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal – have worked with Goins. Grandal, Cabrera and Bartolo Colon, all listed in Bosch's records, were suspended by MLB after testing positive for testosterone this season. MLB is considering pursuing further discipline against them, particularly if the league can acquire records that tie players to PEDs on different dates than their positive tests.

Two league officials met with New Times editors in Miami on Monday hopeful the newspaper would turn over the documents, which would aid an investigation and potential arbitration hearings if the league were to pursue suspensions. While the newspaper did not give the records to MLB, it is still considering doing so, according to two sources.

Braun's acknowledgement of the documents' veracity could quell speculation, including from some accused players, of the legitimacy of the records.

The third record is a letter from Bosch that appears to be to Juan Nunez, a former runner for the ACES sports agency that represents Cabrera, Cruz and Gonzalez. Though undated, it congratulates "Juan" on "the MVP award" – a possible reference to Cabrera's All-Star Game MVP – and continues: "This smells like the 'Braun' advantage."

Braun's name does not appear in the document on the New Times' website.

The players as well as Bosch issued blanket denials in the aftermath of the New Times report. Rodriguez said in a statement he was never treated by Bosch and "(t)he purported documents referenced in the story – at least as they relate to Alex Rodriguez – are not legitimate." Rodriguez also denied an ESPN.com report that Bosch had personally injected him.

In a statement, Gonzalez said: "I've never met or spoken with Tony Bosch or used any substances provided by him." Attorneys representing Cruz said: "To the extent these allegations and inferences refer to Nelson, they are denied."

Bosch's attorney said the New Times story was "filled with inaccuracies, innuendo and misstatements of fact."

Braun has eight years and more than $130 million remaining on his current contract. He finished second in NL MVP voting last season after hitting a league-leading 41 home runs.


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(sports.yahoo.com)
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Danny Valencia Traded

DannyValencia
The Orioles have acquired third baseman Danny Valencia from the Red Sox for a player to be named later or cash, the club announced Wednesday. Infielder Joe Mahoney was designated for assignment.

Valencia, 28, hit a putrid .188/.199/.299 between Minnesota and Boston in 2012, mustering just 29 hits and three walks against 38 strikeouts. He hit .311/.351/.448 with a 119 OPS+ as a 25-year-old rookie in 2010, but it's been all downhill from there; his career line now sits at .257/.297/.389.


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Danny Valencia Called Up

DannyValencia
The Red Sox added six players to their 40-man roster: righthanders Allen Webster, Steven Wright, and Alex Wilson, catchers Christian Vazquez and Dan Butler, and outfielder Alex Hassan.

Infielder Ivan DeJesus, third baseman Danny Valencia, and righthanders David Carpenter, Sandy Rosario, and Zach Stewart were designated for assignment.

The 40-man roster is now full. Teams had to set their rosters Tuesday in advance of the Rule 5 Draft Dec. 6.

DeJesus, Valencia, and Stewart had limited action in the majors for the Sox last season. Stewart was hit hard in two starts.


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(boston.com)
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Danny Valencia Coming Along at the Plate After Rollercoaster Season

DannyValencia
BOSTON –– Danny Valencia has endured a trying season. He rotated from the Twins, to Triple-A and back to the Twins before being traded to the Red Sox in August.

Even with a new organization, Valencia was forced to dabble in Pawtucket prior to receiving a call-up this week. The string of adversity made Saturday's game much sweeter. In his first major league start in over a month, Valencia blasted a two-run home run over the Green Monster, his first as a member of the Red Sox. "It was great," Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said. "He came back with a different swing. [PawSox manager] Arnie [Beyeler] and crew down there worked with him pretty rigorously. When he was here last time, remember, he hadn't played very much. He was in limbo or something for a while.

"His swing wasn’t what it should be, and it looked much different when he came back in batting practice and it looked much different in the game. He’s still getting into the routine of feeling good about himself." In 13 games with the PawSox, Valencia showed strides at the plate, hitting one home run with eight RBIs.

He also batted .306 as he keyed the team's run down the stretch to the Governor's Cup. "He had a unique situation," Valentine said. "Getting traded, that’s tough, and then not playing, then going to the minor leagues, then coming here and not playing, then going back to the minor leagues -- he’s been on a tough ride. More unique than usual." Making his second straight start at third on Sunday, Valencia is trying to highlight his value.


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(nesn.com)
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Danny Valencia working to regain past form

DannyValencia
BOSTON -- The Danny Valencia of 2012 hasn't looked much like the Danny Valencia of 2010, when he was an American League Rookie of the Year candidate.

But that doesn't mean the latter has been lost.

The Red Sox acquired Valencia from the Twins in early August, sensing the need for another third baseman with the departure of Kevin Youkilis.

But Valencia isn't proud of what he has shown in his brief stint with the club.

"Definitely not up to my standards," Valencia said.

But his two-run blast to give the Red Sox a temporary lead over the Orioles in an eventual 9-6 loss on Saturday, when he kept his weight back and smashed a curveball well over the Green Monster and into the adjacent parking lot, was a glimpse of how the 28-year-old used to play.

"It was great," manager Bobby Valentine said.

Valencia joined the Twins in 2010, and over 299 at-bats, he was everything they could have hoped, with a .311 average, a .799 OPS and a decent glove at third base.

Although his defensive ability drew questions early on, he's worked to a point where he's comfortable with his play at the hot corner.

It's his offense that's struggled.

He isn't making excuses, but with the year he's had -- bouncing between Minnesota and Triple-A Rochester, being traded to Boston, and again going back and forth between the Minors and Majors -- he collected more plane tickets than home runs.

"He had a unique situation," Valentine said. "Getting traded, that's tough, and then not playing, then going to the Minor Leagues, then coming here and not playing, then going back to the Minor Leagues -- he's been on a tough ride."

The hardest part has been trying to find consistency at the plate. In 130 at-bats in the Majors this season, Valencia has hit .188 and drawn just three walks while striking out 32 times.

"I'll tell you what, I was thinking about that earlier this year," he said. "And I've been a guy that's drawn some walks, but this year has been awful for me. I haven't drawn any walks at all and [I'm] striking out more than I should.

"I mean, on-base percentage is something that is important, something you should pride yourself on and something that's gotten away from me this year, and I have to get better at it."

After hitting just .250 in almost 300 plate appearances with Triple-A Rochester, he found a groove at Triple-A Pawtucket, batting .306 in 49 at-bats while helping the PawSox win the Governor's Cup.

And after working with Pawtucket manager Arnie Beyeler, Valencia is starting to once again show the promise of the player who finished third in the AL Rookie of the Year voting in 2010.

"He came back with a different swing," Valentine said. "Arnie and the crew down there worked with him pretty rigorously.

"When he was here last time, remember, he hadn't played very much. He was in limbo or something for a while. His swing wasn't what it should be, and it looked much different when he came back in batting practice, and it looked much different in the game. And he's still getting into the routine of feeling good about himself."


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(mlb.com)
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Danny Valencia To Be Called Up On Friday

DannyValencia
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Red Sox won't be receiving reinforcements from Pawtucket until they return home from their road trip on Friday.

The Pawtucket Times has reported that Danny Valencia and Pedro Beato will be called up to Boston. Che-Hsuan Lin and Zach Stewart are other options from the 40-man roster to be promoted.

Valencia went 1-for-8 in four games with the Red Sox in August. Beato has made one appearance with Boston, picking up a win on August 26.

With 12 men already in the bullpen, the Red Sox will not recall either Alex Wilson or Josh Fields -- neither of whom is on the 40-man roster.

Assistant general manager Mike Hazen said that doesn't mean the organization isn't happy with how the two have performed, especially of late.

"It's unfortunate, but it is what it is. We talked to those guys last night and they understood," Hazen said. "It's a little circumstantial that they don't get called up. But they had great years."


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(providencejournal.com)
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Danny Valencia sent down

DannyValencia
BOSTON -- In addition to activating outfielder Daniel Nava from the disabled list on Tuesday, the Red Sox also reinstated pitcher Vicente Padilla from the DL. The Red Sox optioned third baseman Danny Valencia to Triple-A Pawtucket and placed Carl Crawford (Tommy John surgery) on the DL to make room on the roster.

The Red Sox acquired Valencia from the Minnesota Twins on Aug. 5 and optioned him to the PawSox. He was recalled on Aug. 11 after Will Middlebrooks broke a bone in his wrist when he was hit by a pitch and played in four games for Boston, posting a .125 average (1-for-8) with one RBI.

“Danny was in as bad, as unfair of a situation I think I have ever seen anyone,” Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said. “He played a couple of games in 10 days, was thrown into the fire, then went to the bench. I’m hoping he can get some consistent at-bats in Triple-A and still help us this year.”

Padilla was placed on the DL on Aug. 6 with right-arm tightness. The reliever is 4-1 with a 4.62 ERA and one save in 41 appearances this season.


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(espn.com)
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Danny Valencia: Right place at the right time

DannyValencia
Danny Valencia spent a week in the minors and is now starting at third base for Boston after rookie Will Middlebrooks, whose rise was the reason Kevin Youkilis was traded to Chicago, broke his wrist Friday night.

Valencia was on the field in Cleveland by Saturday night and has started two games, getting his first hit Tuesday in nine at-bats.

After passing on the chance to talk to Twin Cities media about his trade (for a low-level minor leaguer), Valencia told Comcast SportsNet New England: “It’s nice to be able to start over and have a clean slate. It’s great to come and try to help a team that’s right in the middle of a playoff push. It feels good. It was definitely a rough April for me. They had guys come in and do a great job and there was no room for me anymore. But I’m over here now and it’s worked out for me. So that’s nice.”

The Red Sox blog Over the Monster concluded about Valencia: "If he leans closer to his prospect potential than the career he's actually had, consider it a gift from Red Sox scouting.


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(startribune.com)
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Danny Valencia appreciates chance for fresh start

DannyValencia
CLEVELAND -- Danny Valencia knew things weren't going to work out for him in Minnesota. The once-promising third baseman prospect seemed to have fallen out of favor with the Twins, and he wasn't going to get many more opportunities.

"It was definitely a rough April," Valencia said. "I got off to a slow start, and they had guys come in and do a great job, and there really wasn't room for me."

The Red Sox acquired Valencia from the Twins last Sunday, and they called him up from Triple-A Pawtucket on Saturday to take the spot of injured third baseman Will Middlebrooks. Valencia arrived at Progressive Field about 30 minutes before the start of Saturday night's game, and he entered as a defensive replacement at third base in the eighth inning.

Valencia was in the lineup at third, batting eighth, on Sunday afternoon.

"It [felt] nice because I wanted to get the early jitters out," Valencia said of playing Saturday. "I don't really know many people. Everybody's been really great. ... It's nice to be able to start over and have a clean slate, and try to help a team win that's right in the middle of things."

Valencia said he hasn't yet talked with manager Bobby Valentine about what his role will be with the Red Sox, but Valencia figures to get a substantial amount of playing time at third. The 27-year-old struggled with the Twins this season, hitting just .198 with two home runs and 17 RBIs in 34 games, but he's been a productive hitter in the past. Valencia had 15 homers and 72 RBIs in 154 games last season.

Whatever his role is, Valencia will be happy to have it. He's glad just to be part of a big league team.

"What happened to Will is unfortunate," Valencia said. "I feel bad for him. I just want to come in and help the team win, no matter what I can do, whether it be off then bench, starting, whatever it is. It's nice to just be able to get back with a team that's playing for the playoffs."


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(mlb.com)
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Danny Valencia excited to make first start for Red Sox

DannyValencia
CLEVELAND – An interesting week for Red Sox third baseman Danny Valencia ends with him in the starting lineup for the Red Sox on Sunday afternoon.

It started last Sunday when the Sox acquired Valencia in an August waiver trade with the Minnesota Twins, and continued when the corner infielder joined the Pawtucket Red Sox to play against Minnesota’s Triple-A club in Rochester for a pair of games. When Will Middlebrooks went down with the fractured right wrist, Ben Cherington’s prudent depth acquisition was called up to the big club. On Sunday, he is batting eighth between Mike Aviles and Kelly Shoppach.

To say it’s been a dizzying flurry of moves for Valencia this week would be an understatement.

“It’s been crazy. I went back to playing against my old team in Triple-A and now I’m here. But I’m ready to go and excited to play,” Valencia said. “I feel bad for [Middlebrooks], but I just want to be able to start, come off the bench or do whatever is going to help this team win.”

Valencia hopped in for a few innings as a defensive replacement in Saturday night’s loss to the Tribe, and was asked whether he was happy to get his feet wet.

“I got them soaked out there,” said a smiling Valencia. “It was nice. You just want to get the early jitters out. I don’t really know anybody here, so it was good to get out there and stretch my legs a little bit.”

The Twins third baseman fell out of favor in Minnesota this season while struggling with a .198/.212/.310 line in 34 games following a horrendous April performance. That led to his trade away from the Twins, and Valencia is hoping it leads to a fresh beginning in Boston during their time of need.

He went 3-for-7 with a pair of doubles in his two games against Triple-A Rochester, and said he’s now beyond his early season struggles.  

“It’s nice to be able to start over and have a clean slate. It’s great to come and try to help a team that’s right in the middle of a playoff push,” said Valencia. “It feels good. It was definitely a rough April for me. They had guys come in and do a great job and there was no room for me anymore.

“But I’m over here now and it’s worked out for me. So that’s nice.”

Valencia will try to continue the “nice” story of his time with Boston in his starting debut against the Tribe on Sunday afternoon.


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(csnne.com)
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Sox acquire 3B Danny Valencia from Twins

DannyValencia
The Red Sox acquired Twins third baseman Danny Valencia Sunday in exchange for minor league outfielder Jeremias Pineda.

This was the release from the Red Sox announcing the move in the second inning of Sunday's game against Minnesota Twins.

The Boston Red Sox today acquired third baseman Danny Valencia from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for outfielder Jeremias Pineda. Valencia has been optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket.

The announcement was made by Executive Vice President/General Manager Ben Cherington.

Valencia, 27, has hit .260 (257-for-989) with 52 doubles, four triples, 24 home runs, 129 RBI, 106 runs scored and 63 walks in 273 career Major League games with the Twins over the last three seasons. The right-handed batter is 25-for-126 (.198) this season with six doubles, one triple, two homers, 17 RBI and 13 runs scored in 34 games for Minnesota in 2012 and hit safely in five of seven contests in his second Major League stint of the season since July 27. Valencia has also played in 69 games for the Twins Triple-A club in Rochester this season, batting .250 (67-for-268) with 17 doubles, a triple, seven homers and 37 RBI. He was originally selected by the Twins in the 19th round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft.

Pineda, 21, has gone 56-for-133 (.421) with nine doubles, three triples, 22 RBI, 20 runs, five walks and 14 stolen bases in 36 games this season for the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League Red Sox, including 29 appearances in center field, four in left and one in right. A switch-hitter, he is leading the GCL in batting average. Over two professional seasons in the Red Sox organization, Pineda has hit .321 (75-for-234) with 11 doubles, five triples, a home run, 32 RBI and 20 stolen bases over 70 games between the Domican Summer League Red Sox and the GCL.

With today’s transaction, Boston’s 40-man roster is now at 40.


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(boston.com)
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Danny Valencia Homers & Walks

DannyValencia
Danny Valencia homered and walked in Wednesday's loss to the White Sox.

Valencia is 5-for-18 with five RBI in five games since being called up to fill in for Trevor Plouffe at third base. If he keeps it up, then the Twins will figure out a way to keep getting him at-bats once Plouffe returns.


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(rotoworld.com)
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Danny Valencia returns to lineup

DannyValencia
Danny Valencia is in the lineup for the Twins for the first time since May 10.

Valencia was in an 0-for-25 skid when the Twins sent him to Class AAA Rochester more than 11 weeks ago.

He batted .190/.204/.290 with one homer and 11 RBI in 25 games, and the Twins wanted him to go back to Triple-A and regain his confidence. Valencia never really dominated for Rochester, but he was fairly consistent over 69 games, batting .250/.289/.399 with seven homers and 37 RBI.

The Twins recalled Valencia somewhat reluctantly Friday, when Trevor Plouffe landed on the disabled list with a bruised right thumb. But it’s worth remembering that Valencia wasn’t exactly dominating Triple-A in 2010, when he got his first big league promotion. Valencia was batting .292 with no homers in 49 games, but he came up to Minnesota, in the heat of the pennant race, and batted .311 with seven homers and 40 RBI.

(startribune.com)
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Danny Valencia Could Be Called Up This Week

DannyValencia
3B Danny Valencia could be recalled at the end of the week if the Twins need a third baseman to replace Trevor Plouffe, who is nursing a bruised right thumb. Valencia is hitting .249 in 66 games at Class AAA Rochester. "His numbers are not exactly going to indicate that, 'Oh, he's a lock to get back, he's pushed himself back up,'" GM Terry Ryan said. "If we've got a third baseman that goes down, obviously Danny would be the ideal choice to come back. Once we get to a situation where we have to start considering it, we'll call down there to see what those guys have to say."


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(chicagotribune.com)
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Once a MLB starter, Danny Valencia stuck in minors

DannyValencia
Two years ago, Danny Valencia went from mid-season call-up to the Minnesota Twins' everyday third baseman. Now, Valencia is stuck in the minor leagues, trying to find his way back to the majors.

Valencia began the 2012 season on the Twins' 25-man roster after a disappointing 2011 season in which he regressed both offensively and defensively. In 85 games during his rookie year in 2010, Valencia batted .311 with seven homers and 40 RBI and committed just six errors. While his power numbers stayed the course in 154 games last season (15 homers and 72 RBI) he batted nearly 70 points lower. His on-base percentage dropped from .351 in 2010 to .246 the following season, and he committed 18 errors.

Then, through 27 games in 2012, Valencia's offensive numbers took yet another step in the wrong direction. He had just one homer and 11 RBI while batting only .190. His on-base percentage dropped to .204 as he drew just two walks in 103 plate appearances.

In seven games in May, Valencia was 0-for-25 with one walk, which led to his demotion to Triple-A Rochester. His last game with the Twins was May 9, and he's been in the minors ever since.

"He's been a big leaguer the last two-plus years. It's not about working on something," said Mike Radcliff, the Twins' vice president of player personnel. "It's gaining consistency and doing the things you're supposed to do to get back to where he was."

Consistency is a word Radcliff uses often when describing Valencia and what it will take for the 27-year-old third baseman to work his way back to the majors. Through Rochester's double-header on Sunday, Valencia is now batting .248 in 64 games with the Red Wings. With an RBI in the second game of Sunday's double-header, Valencia has driven in 35 runs. He's added seven homers and 15 doubles.

His on-base percentage, though, is just .287. The Twins have said they'd like to see Valencia draw more walks in the minors. At this point in the minor league season, he's drawn just 14 walks while striking out 39 times.

"His on-base percentage has never been great. I'm not sure he's that type of player that he's going to have a great on-base percentage," Radcliff said. "He's drawn a few walks over the course of a short sample size. It doesn't really accomplish anything. He's got to get his swing right and his mental approach right and things will take care of themselves."

Part of the issue for Valencia as he looks to crack Minnesota's 25-man roster is that the Twins seem to have found an answer at third base. Back in 2010, they thought that answer was Valencia as it appeared the rookie could solidify a position that hadn't seen much stability in Minnesota in recent years.

Now, Trevor Plouffe appears to be the answer (at least for now) at third base for the Twins. Although he missed two games this weekend with a thumb injury, Plouffe has now played 52 games at third base after spending time at shortstop last season. He's currently second on the Twins with 19 home runs and he recently had a career-high 17-game hitting streak.

As long as Plouffe continues to play well at third base, there might not be room on the roster for Valencia until the rosters expand at the beginning of September. It's a good problem for the Twins to have, but not a good problem for Valencia.

"As a young player in the major leagues, Danny took advantage of an opportunity to become a starting third baseman two years ago," Radcliff said. "In order to stay, you've got to have the consistency and the mental approach to play your game and do what you do and do it well."

Radcliff and the Twins are by no means giving up on Valencia as a part of their long-term plans. He's shown he can hit for power, as his 15 homers were second-most on the team last season. His slugging percentage of .383 was third on Minnesota behind veterans Michael Cuddyer and Jason Kubel.

Valencia has hit at every level in his minor league career as well, beginning in 2006 after the Twins drafted him out of the University of Miami in the 19th round of that year's draft.

He's proven he can hit in the majors. Now, as Radcliff said, it's time for Valencia to regain his confidence.

"That's really what it's all about here, I think," Radcliff said. "There's nothing wrong with his swing or his arm or his body or his glove. It's just maintaining the intensity and the dedication and the focus level required to get consistency and get out there and do your thing every day.

"That's really the foundation for every player in the major leagues, from our 25th guy to the best players on your team — (Joe) Mauer and (Justin) Morneau and (Josh) Willingham and the rest. You have to be consistent. You have to be able to bring your game every day."


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(foxsportsnorth.com)
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Danny Valencia 'not happy' in minors, friend Chris Perez says

DannyValencia
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- It was a year ago this month that Danny Valencia handed his good friend, Chris Perez, his second blown save of the 2011 season, lacing a bases-loaded single to score two runs in the ninth inning of a 2-1 walkoff victory over Cleveland at Target Field.

Perez, a former high school rival and University of Miami teammate, spent that night at Valencia's place as the two celebrated their major leagues trajectories. A year later, however, Perez is making his second All-Star Game appearance and Valencia is battling to get back to the major leagues, 55 games into a tuneup at Class AAA Rochester.

"It seems like he's in a good place," said Perez, who has converted 24 of 26 save opportunities for the Indians this season. "He's not happy, obviously. He's frustrated. But he's doing his work down there; he just needs an opportunity again.

"Unfortunately, what's-his-name's crushing the ball."

What's-his-name, of course, is Trevor Plouffe, who has taken hold of Valencia's old job. Since Valencia was optioned to Rochester in May, Plouffe is batting .280 with 18 home runs, nine doubles and 34 RBIs. And in a weekend series at Texas, he made half a dozen terrific plays at third, one of five positions he has played this season. In his past 29 games, though, Plouffe has been the team's third baseman.

Valencia hit .311 in 81 games as a rookie and led the team with 72 RBIs in his first full season in 2011, but he was hitting .190 with one homer and 11 RBIs when he was sent down.

With the Red Wings, he is batting .244 with seven homers, 11 doubles and 31 RBIs, and he drove in the winning run in a 1-0, eight-inning victory over Lehigh Valley in Sunday's doubleheader opener. If there is a glaring weakness in his numbers, it's in the walks -- just 11 in 224 plate appearances. His on-base percentage is only .281.

Perez said he talks to Valencia once a month and texts him frequently.

"His head seems to be in a good spot," Perez said.


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(twincities.com)
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Minnesota Twins GM Terry Ryan says Valencia's future is 'up to Danny'

DannyValencia
Danny Valencia is working hard at Class AAA Rochester, Twins general manager Terry Ryan says, adding, "That's a good thing." Right now, though, working hard isn't enough to get him back to the big leagues.

Though he won the third base job as a rookie, and led the team in RBIs in his first full season, Valencia has all but fallen off the big league club's radar since his demotion to the Red Wings on May 9.

Since reporting to Rochester manager Gene Glynn, Valencia is batting .237 with four homers, 11 doubles and 22 RBIs in 45 games through Thursday, June 28. He also had drawn only 10 walks and had an on-base percentage of .279.

"If we felt comfortable bringing him back, we would," Ryan said Friday. "He's not ready."

Valencia hit .311 in 85 games as a rookie and won the starting job out of camp in 2011. The average dipped to .246, but he led the Twins in games played (154) and RBIs (72) and was given the starting job out of camp this spring. But after batting .190 with one homer, 11 RBIs and 23 strikeouts in 27 games, the Twins sent him back to Rochester for a tuneup.

Since then, Trevor Plouffe has taken the third base job and run with it, hitting .275 with 14 homers and 25 RBIs in 38 games, though he also has fanned 38 times. Asked if Plouffe's future is at third base, Ryan said: "It depends on how much he hits. It depends on what Valencia does. We aren't overcrowded with too many good players."

Valencia declined a recent request for an interview. In his past 10 games, he's batting .231 with two homers, three walks, eight strikeouts and six RBIs.

"It's up to Danny, I'm going to tell you that," Ryan said. "It's not up to me and it's not up to Gene (Glynn) and it's not up to Gardy. It's up to Danny. Go ahead and do some things down there that push our hand and say, 'We need to make room for him.' "


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(twincities.com)
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Danny Valencia showing positive signs in Minors

DannyValencia
MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he's getting positive reports about how third baseman Danny Valencia has been doing at Triple-A Rochester.

Valencia was optioned to Rochester on May 9 after struggling with the Twins, as he hit .190 with a homer, triple and five doubles in 100 at-bats.
He's been faring better in the Minors, as he entered Monday hitting .268 with two homers and three doubles in 56 at-bats. He overcame an early slump and is hitting .325 with a .341 on-base percentage and .525 slugging percentage over his past 10 games.

"He's doing fine," Gardenhire said. "He's putting some good swings on the ball. He hurt his wrist, but got back at it. So he's hanging in there pretty good. He's driving the ball. I've watched a couple games and saw him bang one off the center-field wall on an 0-2 fastball."

Gardenhire added that Valencia has continued to make progress with his defense, which wasn't his problem in 27 games with the Twins this season.

"He was fine here and was a lot better and working hard at it," Gardenhire said. "We asked him to do that and he's been doing fine down there."


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(mlb.com)
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Danny Valencia Gets Vote of Confidence From Gardenhire

DannyValencia
Update: Manager Ron Gardenhire gave Valencia a vote of confidence as the starting third baseman despite a 0-for-21 slump that's seen his batting average fall to .198, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. Valencia went 0-for-4 in Tuesday's loss to the Angels

Recommendation: With Jamey Carroll moving to a utility role with Brian Dozier promoted from Triple-A there was some thought that Carroll could get starts at third base or take over the job. However, that doesn't appear to be the plan in the near term.


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(rotowire.com)
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Danny Valencia Optioned Triple-A

DannyValencia
Twins optioned INF Danny Valencia to Triple-A Rochester. Valencia opened the season as the Twins' starting third baseman but batted just .190 with 23 strikeouts and two walks in 103 plate appearances.



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(fantasysp.com)
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Danny Valencia won't be benched

DannyValencia
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire doesn't have any plans to bench the struggling Danny Valencia.

"I've given Danny a couple days," Gardenhire said. "He's good to go. Danny's ready to play. I don't think he needs a day to relax. I know he's pressing a little bit, trying to get hits like everybody else in our lineup. But a good two-hit day would probably make him feel pretty good about himself." Gardy would probably be warm to the idea of putting Valencia on the bench if he had better options, but, unfortunately, he doesn't, so he'll let him try to hit his way out of a slump. Valencia is hitless in May and sports a hideous .207/.221/.315 batting line for the year.


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(rotoworld.com)
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Danny Valencia ailing

DannyValencia
ANAHEIM -- Danny Valencia was held out of Twins' starting lineup on Wednesday because of a stiff back, giving Trevor Plouffe his first Major League appearance at third base.

Valencia started feeling the stiffness during Tuesday's 4-0 loss to the Angels and was held out of action for precautionary reasons. Valencia actually wanted to stay in the lineup, as he's 3-for-12 with two homers off Angels ace and Tuesday starter Jered Weaver in his career.

"Danny's definitely available for the game if I need him," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We gave him some Weaveritis medicine and he should be fine. But he did make it known that he has two home runs off him. Nah, he's got a stiff back. He was hurting last night during the game."

Plouffe, meanwhile, has played 76 games at third base in the Minors, and said he's comfortable playing there despite not having any Major League experience.

"I've played more games there than I have than the outfield," Plouffe said. "You've got to catch the ball and throw it to first base. I worked there yesterday and I've been getting ready for it. I feel like I'm prepared. I know the bunt plays. It's my job to play anywhere so I'm ready."

Plouffe said his experience as a shortstop makes the transition easier, as the throw across the diamond is about the same.

"The left side of the infield is similar," Plouffe said. "When you move over to the other side, it's a little different. So third base is kind of the same throw. It's just different assignments like with bunts and cutoffs. But it's my job to feel like I can play anywhere."


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(mlb.com)
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Danny Valencia: From Boca Raton to the Big Leagues

DannyValencia
PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - Danny Valencia has become a fixture in the Minnesota Twins lineup, playing every day at third base.  

He's looking to build on the 15 home runs he hit last season.  "Just pretty much trying to use the whole field.  I feel I'm doing my best, and I'm being most successful, when I'm using right field, and I don't want to get away from that," Valencia told ESPN 760's Joe Girvan.  

Growing up in Boca Raton, the former University of Miami standout developed the power to leave any ballpark.  He's also trying to get better in the field.  

"I've been working hard on my defense.  I'm happy, you know, I feel like I've been making some good strides.  I feel pretty good out there," Valencia said.  

Improvements aside, the 27-year-old says he's not really big on personal goals.  "I feel if the team has a lot of success, and we win, you know, and we get back to the playoffs, I feel individual success will have to be there so, you know, obviously it's cliché to say it, but the team goals are more important than my individual ones."  

Long before he made the big leagues, Valencia was a star at Spanish River High School and he's still giving back to the Sharks.  

Said Spanish River baseball head coach Bill Harvey, "He's been really nice to us here at Spanish River -- helped us out as far as equipment goes.  Bought our baseball hats for us this year, so we're styling some New Era Major League caps this year, so we're certainly looking good.  So, we appreciate all that Danny does for us."  

Sharks shortstop Cody Meyer is also appreciative.  "It means a lot 'cause, I mean, we've had guys that we've know go up to the pros, and you see 'em.  They don't give back to the community, and it just means a lot to see someone that actually thinks about us -- the little guys down here."


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(wptv.com)
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Danny Valencia hits first homer

DannyValencia
Danny Valencia belted his first homer of the season in Monday's loss to the Red Sox.

It was a two-run shot in the fourth inning that tied up the game at the time. Valencia hasn't bounced back from last year's disappointing showing yet, as he's hitting just .220 thus far with only five extra-base hits. He's not much of a mixed league option.


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(rotoworld.com)
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Danny Valencia adds a splash of Miami Nice

DannyValencia
FORT MYERS, FLA. - Mindy Valencia has tried to gauge her son's standing in the Twins clubhouse the past two years from words spoken and unspoken by manager Ron Gardenhire.

Naturally, she's biased.

Danny Valencia, in her words, is "a really, really good kid. He works hard. He doesn't drink. He doesn't do drugs. He's the most kind, when it comes to the fans."

But after a promising 2010 rookie season, Valencia's performance sagged last year with the rest of the team. There were suggestions the third baseman had grown complacent, and his University of Miami swagger was wearing thin, especially on Gardenhire.

"I'd like to think it's tough love, that Gardenhire thinks he's got the ability to do better," Mindy said. "Do I know? I don't know. But it's a man's world. And in my opinion, men pretty much care about how you perform between the lines."

Valencia's OPS (on-base-plus slugging percentage) was .677 last year, down from .799 as a rookie. Gardenhire sensed he lacked focus defensively, at times, because he was thinking about his at-bats. Valencia committed 18 errors, the most for a Twins third baseman since Gary Gaetti made 18 in 1990.

But on an injury-laden team, Valencia led all Twins in games played (154) and RBI (72). By September, he started regaining his manager's praise.
"Danny made a lot of improvement toward the end of last year," Gardenhire said. "I thought he was handling himself a lot better. He wasn't out there, trying to be in Danny World. He was fitting in really nicely."

Valencia, 27, put himself through a grueling offseason workout routine and arrived at spring training looking stronger and leaner. He worked especially hard on his defense, which seems to have him on the same page as Gardenhire. Only last Saturday, for example, the two spent several moments near Valencia's locker, talking defense.

"Honestly, our relationship's great," Valencia said. "It's not like it's hostile ground. He's the manager; if it wasn't good, I wouldn't be here. Gardy does a good job of managing personalities. He knows how to push guys, and I guess I'm a guy that he feels he needs to push and challenge all the time.

"That works. I like that."

Valencia's outgoing personality has long invited scrutiny.

"He likes attention," Mindy said. "And I think that most people around here [in Boca Raton, Fla.] understand that. Then there are other people who are more conservative and just don't quite get him."

As a rookie, Valencia led the Twins in Kangaroo Court fines, saying he practically financed the team party by himself. His fashion sense is Miami chic. Last week, after a game in Bradenton, Fla., he wore a pair of royal blue pants that were so bright, he said he had to plug them in.

Valencia has a black T-shirt that says "The 'U' invented swagger." That's 'U' as in University of Miami. But his own journey to and from the Hurricanes baseball program is a fairly humble story.

"As much as we get on Danny, he's a dedicated guy with a lot of desire," said Mike Radcliff, Twins vice president of player personnel. "He was not a high-profile, big-time recruit. He deserves credit to get where he's at."

Valencia's parents, Mindy and Michael, met in Chicago when they were both working as accountants for Arthur Andersen. They settled in Boca Raton and raised two children. Valencia's sister, Laura, works in New York for baseball agent Peter Greenberg.

The family always loved baseball. Mindy remembers taking Danny to countless Miami games when he was a kid.

Valencia was a four-year starter at shortstop for Spanish River High School. He was a second-team all-state selection twice but went undrafted out of high school and barely got a look from the state's three biggest college baseball programs -- Miami, Florida and Florida State.

"There weren't many scouts coming to Boca Raton," Mindy said. "They're in Miami, but they're not in Boca."

Valencia went to the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, where he was named the Southern Conference Freshman of the Year. When he transferred to Miami, most of the team's scholarship money was taken, so the school covered his books, and he paid the rest with a $30,000 student loan.

As a sophomore, Valencia moved to first base because Miami had a pretty good third baseman named Ryan Braun. As a junior, Valencia batted .324 with nine homers and 61 RBI. But on the first day of the 2006 draft, 18 rounds passed, and Valencia was still on the board.

"You can't imagine the pain of it," Mindy said.

The Twins took Valencia the next day, in the 19th round, with the 576th overall pick, and signed him for $75,000. He rose through their system gradually, stopping at most levels twice, despite never batting below .284.

"I had to play with a chip on my shoulder," he said. "I rubbed a lot of people the wrong way early on because I felt I was always being overlooked. And when you're a 19th-round draft pick, you're one bad year from being released."

After finally reaching the majors in June 2010, Valencia was a revelation for a playoff team, batting .311 with seven homers and 40 RBI in 85 games. Gardenhire often complimented Valencia's defense, as the rookie committed only six errors at the hot corner.

When things went south last year, Valencia didn't mope or pout. In fact, he baffled teammates when he told the Star Tribune, "If this is a bad year, I'm going to have a really bright future."

Maybe he was trying to convince himself.

"This game is so mental," he said last weekend. "I've seen great players get down on themselves to the point where they ruin their careers. No matter how bad you're doing, you've gotta treat yourself with a belief that you can dominate."

Valencia said his defense always will be a work in progress, but he's determined to improve his first-step quickness.

"He wants to be one of the better third basemen," Mindy said. "He doesn't like to be considered a defensive liability."

Offensively, Valencia hopes to use the opposite field more this year. Last year, he tried pulling too many pitches in a quest for home runs, and it backfired. He hit 15 homers but his average fell to .246.

For what it's worth, he's been better this spring. Through Tuesday, he was batting .293 with four homers and an .845 OPS.

Still, Valencia is far from satisfied. He's engaged to marry his high school sweetheart this fall and knows this is a pivotal year in his Twins career.

"I've always been a guy who didn't get in trouble," Valencia said. "I'm not by any means a partier. It's not like I've never had a drink before, but it's just not something for me.

"I'd rather eat healthy and drink water and feel good every single day because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I don't want to look back 10 years later and say I wish I would have done something different."


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(startribune.com)
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Danny Valencia goes 3-for-4, homers

DannyValencia
Danny Valencia went 3-for-4 and homered Monday as the Twins and Rays played to a 6-6 tie.

Valencia wasn't an asset as the Twins' third baseman last year, so he has something to prove entering 2012. He's hit .282 with four homers this spring, which qualifies as a decent start. He actually showed more pop than expected last year, finishing with 15 homers, but his .246 average and .294 OBP weren't at all satisfactory. We're guessing an average closer to .270-.280 is in store for this season.


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(rotoworld.com)
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Danny Valencia can bring offense home

DannyValencia
PROJECTED STARTER
Danny Valencia, .246 BA, 15 HRs, 72 RBIs in 2011

After an impressive rookie campaign in which Valencia batted .311 with 40 RBIs in 85 games in 2010, his offensive numbers regressed last season. His batting average dropped nearly 70 points, and his on-base percentage fell more than 50 points from the previous year. Still, some of Valencia's offensive numbers in 2011 were impressive.

His 15 homers were second on the Twins, behind only Michael Cuddyer's 20. Valencia's 154 games played led an injury-plagued Minnesota team. He was one of just a few every-day position players to avoid the disabled list last season, something Valencia took pride in.

Offensively, Valencia has been working on driving the ball to the opposite field. According to baseball-reference.com, just 12 of Valencia's 139 hits in 2011 were to the opposite field. Fifty of his hits were pulled to left, while 77 were up the middle.

"Danny has been working at it. He's been on the extra field taking extra swings, doing things in the cages," said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. "He's told himself he's going to use the whole field and drive the ball. When he starts looking around and tries to hit the ball where they ain't is when he starts to get in trouble. But when he gets the barrel out on the ball he can drive it with anybody."

So far this spring, Valencia has a team-high three home runs through Wednesday, along with seven RBIs in 13 games. He's batting .308 (12-for-39) and slugging .615. He has also improved his ability to hit to the opposite field.

"It makes it all the more worthwhile, that's for sure," Valencia said of his success driving the ball this spring. "It makes you feel like you're not out there taking 100 swings and getting blisters all over your hands for nothing. It's not so much the results I'm looking for, but the comfort in the batter's box and the feeling of my swing being short and direct to the ball."


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(foxsportsouth.com)
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Danny Valencia keeps on swinging hot bat in victory over Miami

DannyValencia
JUPITER, FLA. — Twins third baseman Danny Valencia, born and raised in Miami and a former University of Miami player, announced his return to the area with authority Saturday, clubbing a home run to left field on the first pitch he saw from righthander Ricky Nolasco in the first inning.

Valencia was 2-for-3 on the day as the Twins railed to beat the renamed Miami Marlins 5-2. He was solid in the field -- except for a grounder in the fifth he could have handled more cleanly. Instead, it made his throw to first a hair late, allowing Omar Infante to reach base.

The inning was extended, and Marlins star Hanley Ramirez -- the shortstop-turned-third baseman who is batting .474 this spring -- followed with a two-run homer off Carl Pavano.

Acting Twins manager Scott Ullger said Valencia could have taken a better angle to the ball to make things easier for him.

"He realized it,'' Ullger said.

Valencia leads the Twins in home runs (three), RBI (seven) and total bases (19) this spring. He led an injury-plagued Twins team last season with 15 home runs and 72 RBI and looks ready to build off that.

"He looks really in command at the plate," Pavano said.


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(startribune.com)
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Danny Valencia hopes to rebound in 2012

DannyValencia
Danny Valencia may smile more per minute than any other player in the Minnesota Twins’ clubhouse, like a kid living the dream of being a pro baseball player.

Last year, those smiles were fewer and farther between.

“This game is very humbling,” Valencia said. “It’s a tough game, it’s a hard game. It’s a game of adjustments.”

Valencia has already had to make a few adjustments, starting last year with his expectations. The third baseman made a quick impression on the Twins in his major league debut in 2010, hitting .311 after getting called up and .394 with runners in scoring position, best in the American League. He finished third in voting for the AL Rookie of the Year honors.

But 2011 hit hard for the Twins as they dropped from AL Central champs to dead last with 99 losses. It hit similarly hard for their rising star at third base.

“Last year was tough because we got used to winning so much in 2010, and to come into 2011 and not play the way we need to play was definitely disappointing,” Valencia said. “It was definitely frustrating.”

Valencia experienced a similar dip from the year before, watching his batting average drop from .311 to .246 over his first whole season, adding 15 home runs and 72 RBI. His struggles carried over to defense, where he committed 18 errors.

It was disheartening for Valencia, and worrisome for a Twins organization hoping he could be the next big star to follow in former MVPs Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer’s footsteps.

“He’s got a lot of talent,” said Twins general manager Terry Ryan. “I think that’s the apparent visual of him. He can do everything most third basemen that make all-star teams can do. He can hit a long way, he can really throw, he’s a better runner than you’d think. He’s certainly athletic enough to play the position.”

But Valencia got frustrated with his inconsistent production and his team’s spiral downward, and the frustrations manifested on the field and in the clubhouse.

“Sometimes it was about taking your bat out to the field, or sometimes it was how you’d react to a bad call,” Ryan said. “Sometimes it was about what was written, and players, some react better than others. How you fit into a clubhouse and all that stuff. A couple of years ago, when he came up here, you didn’t hear much of that about him because we were winning a lot. Last year, some stuff might have come out because we weren’t winning.”

But Valencia is smiling again this spring, with the hopes of a breakout for himself and a return to glory for his team. Though the Twins have struggled at the plate, Valencia has shown some encouraging signs, knocking out home runs two home runs in the last four games to lead the team in the statistic this spring.

And Valencia is starting to show that enthusiasm again.

“I try to be in good spirits. I try to have fun,” Valencia said. “I’m getting paid to play a game. And this game’s predicated on failure, so to get the best out of all the failure and to deal with it throughout the season, you’ve got to loosen it up and have a little fun with it.”

He’s focusing now on improving every outing with the belief he can be the next homegrown star for the Twins.

“I think so,” Valencia said. “I feel that way. I have confidence in my abilities. But until then, I’m a role player. I’ll do my best to help my team, drive in runs, play good defense, and let our so-called ‘big boys’ do what they do.”


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(news-press.com)
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Danny Valencia showing signs of returning to form

DannyValencia
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- After breaking out as a rookie in 2010, Twins third baseman Danny Valencia went through a sophomore slump of sorts last season.

There were some bright spots -- he hit 15 homers while leading the team in games played (154) and RBIs (72) -- but saw his batting line tumble from a .311 batting average/.351 on-base percentage/.448 slugging percentage to .246/.294/.383.

Valencia also had his fair share of struggles in the field, committing 18 errors and ranking in the bottom half among third basemen in advanced metrics such as Ultimate Zone Rating and the Fielding Bible's Plus/Minus System.

As a result, Valencia spent all offseason working hard on both his offense and his defense, and it's carried over into Spring Training.

Valencia has spent extra time on practice fields working on his swing with hitting coach Joe Vavra and Hall of Famer Rod Carew, while also taking his fair share of ground balls.

The results have been paying off, as Valencia is hitting .353 with two homers and five RBIs in six games while looking much more comfortable at third base.

"Danny has been working at it," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He's been on the extra field taking extra swings, doing things in the cages. He's told himself he's going to use the whole field and drive the ball. When he starts looking around and tries to hit the ball where they ain't, [that] is when he starts to get in trouble. But when he gets the barrel out on the ball, he can drive it with anybody."

Valencia said one thing he's been trying to get better at is driving the ball with power to right field, as he hit just .179 with three doubles and no homers on balls hit to the opposite field last year. This spring, he already has two doubles to right.

"I feel like I'm doing well and at my best when I'm using right field," Valencia said. "I'm a natural right-field hitter and it's something I've been my whole life. So it's something in Spring Training I've really emphasized."

But while Valencia is trying to improve his all-around approach with ability to use the whole field, he's also not shying away from turning on the ball, either.

Both of his homers this spring went to left field, and his raw power remains one of his best tools, as evidenced by his 15 homers last year and the shows he puts on during batting practice.

"We've been working on staying through the ball," Valencia said. "Working on driving the ball to the big part of the park and getting some good backspin on the ball. Trying to get it true with some good spin on it. I feel like I've gotten some good results with it, but obviously it's still just Spring Training, so it's a process. I've made some strides, but I'm not where I want to be yet."

Valencia is also working hard to improve his defense, as he had trouble ranging to his left year because of his tendency to stand straight up, which allowed balls to get under his glove. He also is trying to set his feet better on throws, as he made 10 throwing errors last season.

"I've worked a ton on my defense," Valencia said. "After last year, obviously, you can't be content with the way things went. I need to get better. My defense is going to be a work in progress forever. It's not just going to be, 'Oh, he's great.' It's something I'm going to have to work at."

Gardenhire has noticed a difference already this camp, and he praised Valencia for making the necessary changes.

"He's attacking the ball a lot lower," Gardenhire said. "His legs are underneath him a lot better. The big thing with us is not standing up and going after a ball. He's staying low now. He's using his legs a lot better. That will help his movement automatically, because he's going to be closer to the ground rather than standing straight up in the air and having to go back down."

So while Valencia has been impressive at camp, it's only been through six games and he needs to prove it over the course of the season.
The Twins remain hopeful that Valencia can be their third baseman of the future, but now it's up to him to prove it this year.

"Everybody wants Valencia to take the next step is what it comes down to," Minnesota general manager Terry Ryan said. "There's no reason he shouldn't be a guy who's a productive member of this organization. We've been looking for a guy to get over there who's got the prototypical third-base skills, and he has them. Now we've just got to get some consistency, is all."


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(mlb.com)
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Danny Valencia homers, doubles in victory

DannyValencia
Danny Valencia homered and doubled off Jo-Jo Reyes as the Twins beat the Pirates 4-2 on Saturday.

The Twins finally found a pitcher they could knock around a bit, scoring their four runs off Reyes in the fifth and sixth innings today. Valencia is 5-for-14 this spring. He'll be the Twins' everyday third baseman once again, but as much as his average fell off last year, his future as a long-term regular is in doubt.


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(rotoworld.com)
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Danny Valencia pushing himself to improve

DannyValencia
FORT MYERS, Fla. - When Danny Valencia assesses his 2011 season, he reveals a perfect distillation of what makes him Danny Valencia.

"I'm better than that," he said.

While an acknowledgment of a sophomore slump, it's also a bold declaration of his strength and skill as a baseball player. It's part humility but mostly hubris - and all Danny Valencia.

Say what you will about the kid who played college ball and majored in confidence at Miami (Fla.), he has made himself a major league baseball player. Entering just his second full major league season, Valencia is hardly surrounded by predators ready to swoop in and take his job at spring training.

"There are plenty of people that could play third base," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said, "but not as good as Danny should be able to; that's the key."

The Twins brought in Sean Burroughs but mostly to fill in defensively and give the lineup some good at-bats. Luke Hughes has been a steady fielder and has shown some pop, but his batting average - .223 last season - hasn't inspired management to project him beyond a utility role. Valencia, on the other hand, has shown glimpses of major league longevity.

"He's got a lot of talent. I think that's the apparent visual of him," general manager Terry Ryan said. "He can do everything most third basemen that make all-star teams can do. He can hit it a long way, he can really throw and he's a better runner than you'd think."

As a rookie in 2010, he turned a June all-up into a full-time job by hitting .311 with 40 runs batted in in 85 games and fielding his position. He had a down year all around last season, earning public scrutiny from Gardenhire for his defensive shortcomings while watching his average (.246) and on-base percentage (.294) drop precipitously. Still, he led the Twins in games (154) and RBIs (72).

Valencia, 27, went home for the offseason knowing he can be better in 2012. Rather than work out in Miami with a group that included major leaguers such as Alex Rodriguez, he stayed home in Boca Raton and worked with a trainer.

The results are evident. Valencia is noticeably bigger, almost 220 pounds, yet still lean, and his defense already is receiving positive notices from the manager.

Last year, Valencia threw away a lot of at-bats - he walked only 40 times in 608 plate appearances - and became less steady at third; after six errors in 80 starts as a rookie, he was charged with 18 in 146 starts in 2011.

"I hold myself to high standards," he said. "Obviously, I feel a little disappointed with last year, mainly my on-base percentage - that really bothers me, looking back at it. It's really unacceptable. I've got to take my walks when I can and swing at better pitches and do a better job of controlling the strike zone."

Though he finished with a .246 batting average, he hit well in the clutch, .471 with the bases loaded (8 for 17) and .444 with runners on second and third (4 for 9).

"He should hit for a higher average, but I thought he was pretty good," Gardenhire said. "I don't have all the numbers to prove it, but as far as driving in big runs for us, he was one of our better ones last year. He came up with a lot of big hits for us that I remember. Those things stick in your mind."

They also help smooth over personality clashes. Notably confident - cocky, to some - Valencia has irritated a few teammates. As a rookie, he led the team in kangaroo court fines, joking last offseason that he financed the team party by himself. A common complaint was that he didn't know his place in the hierarchy of a major league clubhouse.

For that, he is unapologetic.

"I have a personality," Valencia said. "They can't take that away from me."

But he also had a tendency to take his at-bats onto the field, which is a nice way to say he cared more about hitting than defense, a no-no in Minnesota. Gardenhire, in fact, accused him of simply not paying attention at times at third base.

"Danny had things that he knew he needed to improve on, and as I told you at the end of last year, Danny made a lot of improvement toward the end of last year," Gardenhire said. "I thought he was handling himself a lot better; a lot of guys would make the same statement. He wasn't trying to be out there all the time; he wasn't trying to be in Danny World. He was fitting in really nicely. I thought he made a great effort toward the end of last year. He worked hard on his defense. He was working hard.

"Do we all have opportunities to be better people? Every one of us in here can all be better at something, and Danny's been working at it."

If Valencia has changed the way he behaves behind closed doors, it's not evident in public. He's still smiling and chatting with fans, teammates and coaches - and swinging for the fences in batting practice. When he was hit by a Francisco Liriano fastball in BP on Tuesday, he ran out of the cage and yelled at the pitcher, "It'll take more than that to destroy this body!"

"I'm a guy who likes to be loose, but I work hard," Valencia said. "I feel like I get along with everybody. I like to keep it fun in here. We don't have too many guys here who have big personalities. I think it's a good thing; it changes things up. You don't want to get too dull and boring."

Then Valencia smiles with more than a hint of mischief and says, "It's nice to brighten people's days, you know?"


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(twincities.com)
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Danny Valencia Hits Bombs In Batting Practice

Go to about the 1:50 mark.




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Danny Valencia is in The Best Shape of His Life

DannyValencia
I headed over to the other side of the clubhouse, where Danny Valencia dresses. Get your urban dictionaries out, because Valencia wants everyone to know he's ``yoked,'' this year.

He weighs about the same as he did last season but says it's the best he's ever felt.

``It's night and day how I feel,'' he said.``I really made a serious, conscious effort to get my body right. I feel like I can move and feel strong at the same time.

``I  worked really hard,'' he said, `` but I feel great., I'm a lot stronger than I've ever been. I'm faster than I've ever been.''


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(startibune.com)
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Danny Valencia's defense worth watching in 2012

DannyValencia
In his second season as a big-leaguer, Valencia was struck by the infamous sophomore slump, with his OPS sinking by 122 points after an outstanding rookie campaign. That drop-off, however, was largely attributable to a 70-point dive in BABIP, which suggests that with steady peripheral rates and neutral luck his numbers at the plate will creep back upward in 2012.

Yet, judging by Ron Gardenhire's comments during the course of last season, Valencia's offense was not deemed by the club to be his most worrisome deficiency. If the young third baseman's starting job becomes endangered at some point this year, it seems likely that his glove will be the cause rather than his bat.

Late in August, Gardenhire expressed his frustration with Valencia's passive approach at the hot corner. On occasion, the manager intimated through media outlets that the team's future at third base had fallen into question.

You could hardly blame Gardy. After looking surprisingly sharp in the field during his big-league debut, Valencia showed severe regression in Year No. 2. Not only was he far more sloppy, committing 18 errors, but his range was visibly deteriorated. I'm reluctant to apply the UZR metric in single-season samples, but the difference there was stark: after putting up a 10.2 UZR/150 in 2010, Valencia finished at -6.1 in 154 games last season. In other words, UZR showed a 16-run defensive swing from one season to the next.

Whether you buy into that statistic or not, it seems clear that Valencia took a sizable step backward in the field last year, and that if he's unable to reverse that trend, his grip on the starting job will continue to loosen. As we've seen time and time again in the past, Gardenhire and the Twins are far more tolerant of substandard production at the plate than a failure to consistently get the job done defensively.


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(startribune.com)
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More Photos From the 2012 Hurricane Baseball Fan Fest

Check out our EXCLUSIVE photos from the 2012 UM Baseball Fan Fest which featured a HR Derby won by proCane Minnesota Twin Danny Valencia. Other proCanes like Jemile Weeks, Jon Jay, Chris Perez, Eddy Rodriguez and many more joined the festivities.

WeeksValencia2012
Jemile Weeks, Danny Valencia
JemileWeeksHR22012
Jemile Weeks
ObrienHR2012
Peter O’Brien
TheManiac2012
The Maniac
JemileWeeksHR2012
Jemile Weeks
RonyRodriguezHR2012
Rony Rodriguez
ValenciaHigh52012
Danny Valencia
JemileWeeksHR32012
Jemile Weeks
ValenciaHR2012
Danny Valencia
ValenciaOrbienHR
Danny Valencia, Peter O’Brien


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2012 Hurricanes Baseball Fest Photos

Check out our EXCLUSIVE photos from the 2012 UM Baseball Fan Fest which featured a HR Derby won by proCane Minnesota Twin Danny Valencia. Other proCanes like Jemile Weeks, Jon Jay, Chris Perez, Eddy Rodriguez and many more joined the festivities.

JayValenciaWeeksMorrisPerez2012
Jon Jay, Danny Valencia, Jemile Weeks, Coach Jim Morris, Chris Perez
ObrienRodriguezValenciaWeeksHR2012
Peter O’Brien, Rony Rodriguez, Jemile Weeks, Danny Valencia
JayWeeksU2012
Jon Jay, Jemile Weeks
ValenciaHR22012
Danny Valencia
WeeksDiMareJay2012
Jon Jay, Coach Gino DiMare, Jemile Weeks
GiannottiSevarino2012
Adan Severino, Richard Giannotti
ChrisPerezBaby2012
Chris Perez
JonJay2012
Jon Jay
AlexFernandez2012
Alex Fernandez


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UBaseball Alumni Game: Danny Valencia




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Meet Danny Valencia

DannyValencia
Danny Valencia will be at Hit A Double in Boca Raton, FL tomorrow from 6-8pm to help raise money for Spanish River HS. Help spread word!!!



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Danny Valencia Not Far From Above Average

DannyValencia
Danny Valencia has broken in at third, and we're waiting to see if he takes off.

Interesting note about Valencia. MLB third baseman had a .252/.316./.390 slash line last year with 15 homers and 75 RBI. Valencia's: ..246/.294/.383 with 15 homers and 72 RBI. It's hard to find production at that position, and Valencia is not far away from being above average.


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(startribune.com)
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Danny Valencia vows he will be better all around

DannyValencia
After committing 18 errors last year -- the most for a Twins third baseman since Gary Gaetti made 18 errors in 1990 -- Danny Valencia started his offseason with some homework.



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(fantasp.com)
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