A little more than a year ago, Reds lefthander Phillipe Valiquette left his teammates at low Class A Dayton to attend a funeral back home in Montreal.
The only problem was he never came back.
Suffering from what the organization called “severe homesickness,” Valiquette was AWOL all through spring training this season, but finally reported to camp this week.
“You see it in a lot of young kids, and it’s been a tough situation for him,” Reds scouting director Chris Buckley said. “He just reported back and hopefully we’ll get him out to a club when he’s ready.”
That probably won’t be anytime soon. Valiquette’s last start was June 22, and the long layoff likely translates into a full extended spring camp for the 20-year-old lefthander. Last season, Valiquette went 2-4, 7.54 in 37 innings for the Dragons.