UPDATE: Duchscherer told Slusser that the injury feels
“identical” to a previous right hip injury that required two surgeries. Not good. MLB.com’s Jane Lee writes that he will get an MRI on Friday.
8:55pm: The San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser passes along word that right-handed starter Justin Duchscherer was lifted from Thursday’s game in the fourth inning due to what is being called a “left hip injury.”
The “Duke of Hurl” has a long history of ailments, so this is one to monitor. He waived off trainers when they tried to meet him on the mound initially, but Oakland manager Bob Geren overruled and sent his starter into the clubhouse. Duchscherer had allowed five hits and two earned runs over 3 1/3 innings to the Blue Jays.
Jerry Blevins came on in relief. The A’s will reevaluate Duchscherer on Friday morning and will hope that he doesn’t require any more time on the disabled list. He entered the Thursday outing with a 2-0 record, 1.82 ERA and 1.26 WHIP through four starts.
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.