The Yankees’ AAA hitting coach, Butch Wynegar on Austin Jackson:
“He still is raw, still has a lot to learn, but he’s an intelligent
kid and a good athlete — and he wants to learn. I
basically told the Yankees at the end of the year, if they were
thinking about him being their center fielder this coming year (2010),
I didn’t know if he was ready yet. But I know he has a bright future. There are just some things he needs to iron out yet and incorporate to be successful.”
That quote follows a pretty extended analysis of Jackson’s swing by a couple of scouts.
I’m never sure what to believe when I hear from scouts. Like a lot of professionals, their specialized jargon tends to create the impression of much greater certainty of a given thing than may be warranted, even if it’s done so unwittingly.
But even if we don’t take everything in the article at face value, this has to be a bit disconcerting for Tigers fans, who are being
led by the team to believe that Jackson is going to step right in to fill the hole
left by the departure of Curtis Granderson.
Oft-injured pitcher Josh Johnson is retiring from baseball, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick is reporting.
Johnson, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2013. The right-hander underwent his third Tommy John surgery in September 2015 but wasn’t able to bounce back.
Johnson spent most of his career with the Marlins, but also pitched for the Blue Jays in the big leagues, as well as the Padres in the minors. He retires with a career 3.40 ERA, 915 strikeouts across 998 innings in the majors, and two All-Star nominations. Johnson led the National League with a 2.30 ERA in 2010, finishing fifth in NL Cy Young Award balloting. One wonders what he could have accomplished if he was able to stay healthy.
The Angels are nearing a multi-year deal with free agent third baseman Luis Valbuena, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. It’s believed to be a two-year contract with a third-year option.
Valbuena, 31, hit .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances in 2016. He missed most of the second half with a hamstring injury, for which he underwent surgery in late August.
Valbuena has played a majority of his career at third base, but also has extensive experience at second base and has racked up innings at first base and shortstop as well. He won’t play every day for the Angels, as Yunel Escobar lays claim to third base and C.J. Cron first base, but he will give them flexibility and a left-handed bat off the bench.