The Pittsburgh Pirates have acquired right handed pitcher Cesar Valdez from the Arizona Diamondbacks as the player to be named later in the Zach Duke trade. Valdez has spent the last two seasons as a starter in AAA for Arizona, combining for a 5.34 ERA in 193.2 innings, along with a 7.1 K/9 and a 3.7 BB/9 ratio.
He did spend some time in the majors in 2010, with a 7.65 ERA in 20 innings, along with a 5.9 K/9 and a 4.5 BB/9 ratio. He made two starts during that time frame, where he was actually better. In 9 innings as a starter, Valdez had a 7.00 ERA and a 9:5 K/BB ratio. In 11 innings as a reliever he had an 8.18 ERA and a 4:5 K/BB ratio.
He was the number seven prospect in the Arizona farm system heading in to the 2009 season, after three strong seasons to start his career. He throws a sinker/slider around 90 MPH, touching 92, and works best with his secondary pitches. His changeup is his best pitch, grading as a plus pitch. He also gets good movement on his fastball and throws strikes.
Prior to the 2009 season, Valdez graded as a potential back of the rotation starter. At this point he will probably be a bullpen option, serving as depth out of AAA in 2011. He pretty much looks like the new Steven Jackson.