Randy Johnson, on still wanting to return to the Giants this season as a reliever despite the 46-year-old’s torn rotator cuff and the team’s 4.5-game Wild Card deficit:
I felt I owed it to everybody in this clubhouse to come back. I owed it to the ownership, and I owed it to myself. It would be easy at age 46 to say, “OK, well, I’ve got a torn rotator cuff. I’m not coming back.” But I didn’t do that when I had any of my knee surgeries or back surgeries. Why should it be different now?
After 21 years of coming back from things, I don’t want my last memory to be walking off with a trainer. If I blow it out, I blow it out. I’m getting paid to do a job, to help these guys in whatever way I can. Will one inning help? I don’t know, but hopefully there’s time to find out.
Johnson was a reasonably effective starter before the injury, going 8-6 with a 4.81 ERA and 80/31 K/BB ratio in 91.2 innings, so if the Giants can find a way to stay in the Wild Card race for another couple weeks it certainly wouldn’t be shocking to see the 303-game winner have some success as a situation left-hander out of the bullpen.
His comment about not wanting his “last memory to be walking off with a trainer” and his willingness to “blow it out” during the final weeks of this season certainly suggest that Johnson isn’t planning to pitch in 2010. That’s a shame, because beyond his various injury problems Johnson has remained capable of getting big-league hitters out and it’s never fun to have one of the greatest players of all time call it a career. On the other hand, the Hall of Fame class of 2015 will be better for it.
Diamondbacks’ right-hander Tyler Jones is headed back to the Yankees, the teams announced on Friday. The Diamondbacks had previously selected Jones in the Rule 5 draft last December, but elected to leave the 27-year-old off of their 40-man roster heading into the 2017 season. Rule 5 draft rules stipulate that when a player is not kept on the receiving team’s roster, the player must be offered back to his original team.
Jones signed a minor league contract with the Yankees prior to the 2016 season. He pitched to an impressive 2.17 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 13.2 SO/9 over 45 2/3 innings with Double-A Trenton, but was unable to make the leap to Triple-A or beyond during his stay with the organization.
Jones’ outlook with the Diamondbacks appeared slightly more promising. GM Mike Hazen described the righty as a power arm with a “good fastball and power curveball” after selecting him in the Rule 5 draft, and early reports indicated that Jones would be in the mix for a bullpen spot. A rough spring performance — underscored by his lack of experience at the Triple-A and major league levels — undid most of that confidence, however, and the Diamondbacks weren’t willing to keep him on the active roster throughout the entire 2017 season in order to acquire his control rights.
Jones is set to open the season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, per a report from the Yankees.
Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown reports that Derek Norris is signing with the Tampa Bay Rays.
Norris was released by the Nationals nine days ago, made redundant by the Nats’ signing of Matt Wieters and by everyone sliding down a notch on the depth chart below him. Norris hit only .186/.255/.328 with 14 home runs and a .528 OPS for the Padres in 2016.
Still, there always seems to be a place for a backup catcher. For Norris that place is Tampa Bay.