John Maine was forced to leave Friday’s game against the Braves in the fourth inning due to muscle spasms and pain in his left (non-throwing) elbow.
It’s odd, but certainly nothing new for Maine, who left a a start against the Phillies on July 5, 2008 with a cramp in his left forearm. According to Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse, Maine said this pain “feels exactly the same” as that occasion.
For what it’s worth, Maine didn’t miss any time after that start, but that doesn’t make Friday any less frustrating for the right-hander. Among whispers about his lost velocity, Maine is 0-1 with an 8.64 ERA and 2.10 WHIP over his first four starts.
Via Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com:
“I started to feel good — all the work I put in between the last two
starts. I was right there. A couple of walks here, a bad pitch here, but
overall I felt fine. The ball was coming out. I was around the zone. I
didn’t miss many up. I was starting to figure it out and I felt good.
That makes it more frustrating, something like this. It’s frustrating.
It’s not that I get knocked out of the game. I get forced out by this.”
He’s currently listed as day-to-day, but if Maine is forced to miss a start, the Mets could go with Hisanori Takahashi, who allowed one run over three innings on Friday night, striking out seven of the 12 batters he faced. They also have Tobi Stoner, R.A. Dickey or Dillon Gee in the minor leagues. Or they could do something crazy and use Jenrry Mejia. Wait, what am I saying? He’s just a mop-up man.
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.