Ben Sheets was awful again Sunday afternoon against the Blue Jays, allowing nine runs while failing to make it out of the fourth inning. Here’s what he said afterward:
My breaking ball is absolutely getting walloped every time I throw it. I wouldn’t say my location has been this bad maybe since my rookie year. I feel good, I feel healthy. To keep leaning on that crutch is kind of getting old. For me, I can’t even get a rhythm of having fun out there. Every pitch I’ve thrown so far this year has been bearing down, worried about my pitch, worried about this, worried about that.
Toronto knocked him around for eight extra-base hits, including three homers, and Sheets now has a 7.12 ERA and abysmal 16/16 K/BB ratio in 30.1 innings overall this season. His velocity is at career-low levels after missing all of 2009 following elbow surgery and Oakland’s one-year gamble looks more and more like $10 million flushed away.
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.