This is largely just some quotes, sorry, I just rolled out of bed.
Jose Valverde pulled a right calf muscle after taking an Orlando Hudson line drive off his leg in the ninth inning and making a diving throw to Lance Berkman at first. After a lengthy stay in the training room after the game, Valverde said he's not sure how much it affected him.
"I don't know," he said. "We'll check it tomorrow and see how I feel. If I feel OK, I'll be available for the game."
I imagine that Valverde got a lot of ice and stem on his calf, and this probably shouldn't be more than two or three days. Of course, there's no mention of the severity of the strain, so this could be a much larger ordeal than they're letting onto. He also still has a bruise on his right heel from where Hudson's ball tagged him.
In last night's game recap, I mentioned that I didn't blame Coop for leaving Valverde in the game, but I thought he'd broken a bone at that point and was damned if he did or damned if he didn't. I don't know when the diagnosis of muscle strain came up, but if it was on the field, than this exchange becomes untenable:
Valverde, who blew a save Friday while pitching with mild back soreness a day after he couldn’t pitch because of the back problem, refused to come out even though trainer Rex Jones, manager Cecil Cooper and catcher Ivan Rodriguez suggested he exit.
“They told me, ‘It’s early in the season right now. Take off the rest of the game, rest a little bit and we’ll check how it feels tomorrow,’” he said
At some point, Cecil Cooper is going to have to learn that player's are not the owner's of themselves on this team; that this franchise pays them millions (not in all instances) dollars to go out and perform. We saw this attitude of deference to your player last year when Roy took the mound in Washington and clearly wasn't OK. Like I said, I don't know if they determined it was a strain on the field or not, but allowing him to continue to pitch on that strain can only have made things worse. Coop was in a tough position, and I'm sure Valverde wanted to keep going because the dude is tough as nails, but this just sees like another instance when Coop took an unnecessary risk.
I guess that's to be expected:
"I’ll take a win almost at any cost. Almost," manager Cecil Cooper said.
At the end of the day, though, we have this to look forward to:
Valverde is optimistic that he’ll be fine Wednesday.
“I’ll be OK,” he said. “It’s sore when I throw. I didn’t try to pay attention to it too much.”