Stephen Strasburg wasn’t the only franchise savior who debuted last night. Mike Stanton was called up by the Marlins and had himself a solid debut: 3 for 5 with two runs scored. All of the hits were singles, but given that Stanton’s M.O. is to swing for the fences and strikeout whenever he doesn’t mash it, the Marlins will take the contact, no problem.
Best thing about his debut: he had to spend the hours before the game trying to find a suit because the Marlins have a farkakte team rule requiring every player to wear business clothes on road trips. OK, maybe it’s not farkakte –I get the whole look professional, feel professional thing — but (a) “professional” for a baseball player involves athletic gear, not dress socks; and (b) I’d rather my young stud spend his pre-game hours reading scouting reports, not hanging out at a Men’s Warehouse. Maybe I’m just projecting, though. I’m not a fan of suits.
Either way, I would have liked to see the look on the face of the dude at Men’s Warehouse when asked if he had something on the rack that could fit a dude who is 6’5″ and weighs 233 pounds.
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.