GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Wilson Valdez already beat the Reds as a pitcher. This winter, he joined them to perform his regular duties as a utility infielder. Cincinnati acquired Valdez in a Jan. 25 trade with the Phillies for reliever Jeremy Horst. "I'm glad to be here," Valdez said. "I will do what I can to help the team. I got here early to get myself set up and be ready for the season." Valdez, 33, primarily plays shortstop and second base. Last season in 99 games for Philadelphia, he batted .249 with a .294 on-base percentage, one home run and 30 RBIs. Out of Minor League options, he will be battling for a roster spot with the likes of Paul Janish, Willie Harris and Todd Frazier.
On May 25, 2011, during a 5-4 Cincinnati loss in a grueling 19 innings at Citizens Bank Park, Valdez was needed to move from second base to take the mound when the Phillies ran out of pitchers. Facing the heart of the Reds' order, Valdez got a flyout from Joey Votto, hit Scott Rolen with a pitch and got another flyout from Jay Bruce. Pitcher Carlos Fisher popped out to end the inning. The Phillies defeated Fisher with a run in the bottom of the 19th to end the game. Valdez, who had never previously pitched in a professional game, became the first position player to start a game in the field and earn a win since Babe Ruth for the Yankees on Oct. 1, 1921. "It was a long day, but it was exciting," said Valdez, who had three hits in that game. "They didn't think I could do what I did that day. I was glad I faced those guys when they were tired." Janish has been the Reds' resident emergency pitcher if the bullpen was cleaned out. That job could belong to Valdez if he makes the team. "Hopefully, it's not needed. But if the time comes, I will help the team," Valdez said. "That's what I am here for. If one day Dusty [Baker] needs me to pitch and I am able to pitch, I will pitch."