Two days after his latest inflammatory remark, Valentine tried to explain himself before Sunday’s series finale against the Blue Jays, offering an unsolicited clarification at the end of his morning media session.
“The other day when I made a comment about our September roster, that wasn’t meant to be a criticism of any players or anything in the organization,” Valentine said. “It’s a statement of fact because of the injuries and our Triple-A team in the playoffs. This is different. … We have less positions filled than any September roster I’ve ever seen before.
“Anybody who thought that to be anything other than a statement of what it was, stand corrected on that,” Valentine said.
James McDonald has been removed from the Pittsburgh Pirates’ starting rotation.
McDonald, 27, has fallen off considerably since a strong first half. The right-hander has allowed 14 runs in his past three starts — a total of 12 innings pitched. He walked four batters and allowed four runs in 32/3 innings in a loss to the Chicago Cubs on Friday.
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said Sunday that McDonald would become available out of the bullpen around Tuesday.
Right-hander Kyle McPherson will start in McDonald’s place Wednesday against Milwaukee.
Blue Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion was out of the lineup Sunday with a sore big toe on his right foot. Also, shortstop Yunel Escobar and catcher Jeff Mathis didn’t play because of illness. … Padres manager Bud Black said there is no timetable for when left fielder Carlos Quentin, out with a sore right knee, might return to the starting lineup. … The Royals purchased the contract of top pitching prospect Jake Odorizzi from Triple-A Omaha and will start him next weekend against the Indians. Also, Kansas City recalled former Mariners catcher Adam Moore, infielder Irving Falu, left-hander Tommy Hottovy and right-hander Nate Adcock from Omaha. … Austin Jackson was scratched from the Tigers’ lineup because of a sore left ankle. … Rockies manager Jim Tracy said if left-hander Jorge De La Rosa checks out medically, he would start at least once in the final 17 games of the season. De La Rosa hasn’t pitched in the majors since he underwent Tommy John surgery in June 2011. … Rays right fielder Sam Fuld is expected to miss a day or two after suffering a mild right hamstring strain while running to first base on Sunday.