Kyle Blanks suffers setback during rehab assignment

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Kyle Blanks was pulled from a minor league rehab assignment with Triple-A Portland this week in order to have his ailing right elbow re-examined, reports Dan Hayes of the North County Times.

Blanks was originally placed on the disabled list on May 18. He was allowed to rehab the injury after an initial MRI showed no significant damage. According to Padres manager Bud Black, a second MRI revealed
inflammation and “action around the elbow.”

“It’s kind of beat up in there,” Blanks said of his elbow. “It
could be a number of things. We’re just trying to figure out what
is the best course of action. I’ve still got to talk to the
trainers more and I guess see what is the best approach, whether
it’s best case or worst case.”

Blanks, 23, was batting just .157/.283/.324 with three home runs, 15 RBI and a 46/15 K/BB ratio over his first 102 at-bats before going on the disabled list. Listed at 6-foot-6 and 270 pounds, there were already concerns about his long-term durability in the outfield. This setback will do nothing to quell those fears.

By the way, tonight is Kyle Blanks bobblehead night at PETCO Park.
 

Josh Johnson retires from baseball

PEORIA, AZ - FEBRUARY 21: Josh Johnson #55 of the San Diego Padres poses during Picture Day on February 21, 2014 at the Peoria Sports Complex in Peoria, Arizona. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)
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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.

Report: Angels close to a multi-year deal with Luis Valbuena

HOUSTON, TX - JULY 08:  Luis Valbuena #18 of the Houston Astros hits a three run walkoff home run in the ninth inning to defeat the Oakland Athletics 10-9 at Minute Maid Park on July 8, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
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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.