GARY, IN. 7-16-2010 – On the first day back from the four-day Northern League All-Star Break, the Gary SouthShore RailCats have taken a couple big steps towards a second half run with the acquisition of catcher Mike Valadez from the Golden League’s Tucson Toros and the activation of veteran slugger Tanner Townsend from the disabled list, the team announced today.
To make room for Valadez and Townsend on the active roster, the RailCats have placed catcher John Parham on the seven-day disabled list, retroactive to July 8, with a hamstring injury. The ‘Cats have also placed infielder Todd Dulaney on irrevocable waivers for the purpose of granting his unconditional release.
Valadez, 24, joins the RailCats in exchange for cash considerations and will be behind the plate tonight when the ‘Cats begin the second half in Schaumburg. A highly-skilled defensive catcher, Valadez brings with him a right arm that has cut down more than a third of the runners trying to steal against him in three affiliated seasons. Valadez threw out 54-of-135 (40.0%) runners from 2008-09.
Selected in the 26th Round of the 2007 Major League Entry Draft by the Indians, Valadez hit .240 in 27 games for the Indians New York-Penn League affiliate that summer, and split time between Mahoning Valley and Lake County (South Atlantic League) from 2007-09. Valadez put up the best power numbers of his career last season, cracking four home runs and piling up 24 RBI in 52 games at Lake County (A).
Valadez attended NAIA Lee (Tenn.) University where he helped the Flames to the NAIA World Series as a senior. A native of Los Angeles, Valadez now makes his offseason home in nearby Pasadena, California.
Townsend comes off the disabled list having missed a total of 19 days after suffering a concussion June 26 in Fargo, N.D. The fifth-year RailCat was hitting .238 with 15 RBI and 12 extra-base hits through 34 games before his injury.
Parham was injured running the bases July 7 at U. S. Steel Yard and has not played since that time. The first-year pro is hitting .250 with two home runs through the first 32 games of his career.
Dulaney, signed after a five-year hiatus from baseball, played in 10 games for the injury-plagued RailCats and filled in admirably, hitting .273 with three RBI.
Valadez and the RailCats (23-26) look to snap a seven-game losing streak tonight at 6:45 p.m. at Alexian Field. Tom Thornton (1-4, 4.12 ERA) will get the start for the RailCats opposite Schaumburg right-hander Brett Harker (2-6, 5.50 ERA). The game will be broadcast live on 89.1 FM, The Lakeshore, and online at www.railcatsbaseball.com.