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MLB: The call comes at last

Hart High graduate Chris Valaika promoted to Cincinnati’s active roster, singles in debut

Posted: August 24, 2010 11:00 p.m.
Updated: August 25, 2010 4:55 a.m.

Hart High graduate and Cincinnati Reds infielder Chris Valaika throws out Milwaukee’s Chris Narveson in the third inning of a spring training game on March 11 in Goodyear, Ariz. Valaika was promoted to the Reds’ active roster on Tuesday from the organization’s Triple-A affiliate in Louisville.

 

Hart High graduate Chris Valaika was already gearing up for a trip to the postseason with the Cincinnati Reds' Triple-A affiliate, the Louisville Bats.

Now's he's trading the International League for the Major Leagues and a run with the National League Central-leading Reds.

Valaika was already on the team's 40-man roster, but was officially called up Tuesday after injuries to outfielders Jim Edmonds and Laynce Nix during Monday's 11-2 loss to the San Francisco Giants landed the two veterans on the disabled list.

Valaika debuted with a pinch-hit single to center field during the sixth inning Tuesday night in his first-ever at-bat.

He stayed in the game at shortstop and finished the night 1-for-2 at the plate in Cincinnati's 16-5 loss to the Giants.

The Reds ended the day with a 2 1/2-game lead on the St. Louis Cardinals in the division.

The addition of the shortstop/second baseman takes Cincinnati's total rostered infielders to six, and makes it eight players who have made their Major League debut with the Reds this season.

Valaika will likely back up current second baseman Brandon Phillips and compete with shortstop Paul Janish for time with Orlando Cabrera's strained oblique potentially ending his season.

Miguel Cairo is also competing for time in the middle infield.


The 2003 Hart grad's promotion brings the tally to five players with local ties who have played in majors this season, though only three are currently on active rosters.

Fellow Indian alum James Shields has a 12-11 record and a 4.76 ERA with 153 strikeouts for Tampa Bay, while Canyon graduate Chris Seddon is 1-0 with a 6.28 ERA and 11 strikeouts through 14 1/3 innings of relief.

Former Valencia infielder Danny Worth is on the 15-DL with a bruised heel but has hit .255 with eight RBIs, 10 runs and two home runs in his first season with Detroit.

Additionally, former College of the Canyons pitcher Dana Eveland started the season with Toronto before being traded to Pittsburgh. He was later sent down to the Pirates' Triple-A affiliate in Indianapolis when his early struggles continued.

Valaika was hitting .304 with 53 RBIs, 49 runs scored and four homers in Louisville, despite missing time earlier this season with a knee injury.

He was named an International League Mid-Season All-Star this year and played in the 2008 MLB Future's Game during All-Star Weekend.

Valaika was a third-round pick of the Reds in 2006.

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