The Houston Astros put closer Jose Valverde on the disabled list yesterday. And that's not too shocking seeing as how Valverde had a ball drummed off his leg last week and has been hobbling and blowing saves on just one leg.
What's surprising to me is what Jesus Ortiz at the Chron reports. The team had to put Valverde on the disabled list in order to prevent Valverde from pitching in a game. Now maybe it's just me, but I didn't think the decision about pitching in a game belonged solely to Valverde. I thought that was Cecil Cooper's decision.
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So what's the problem?
Am I meant to understand that, even though Cooper knows Valverde is too injured to pitch that Valverde has been inserting himself into games without Cooper's knowledge? Now seeing as how Cooper sometimes misses some of the more obvious baseball managing moves during the game, I suppose that's possible. But when there's this huge guy on the mound, hopping about on one leg as he tries to pitch, I don't understand how Cooper, or his staff, could miss that.
Now I actually can't understand why the team didn't put Valverde on the disabled list last week, as his hobbling around was rather obvious, and it didn't seem to be improving. And while LaTroy Hawkins doesn't have the best of histories as a closer, he still has experience closing games, so there was no need to keep letting an injured Valverde pitch last week.
And once again, this just brings me back to Cecil Cooper. Just what kind of control over this team does he really have if he keeps letting his injured pitcher talk him into pitching? The move to the disabled list was one that needed to happen. But it needed to happen because Valverde was injured, not because Cecil Cooper couldn't stop him from pitching.