The Tigers on Sunday made the decision to option struggling right-handed starter Rick Porcello to Triple-A Toledo, according to the club’s official Twitter feed.
Fellow Detroit starter Max Scherzer met the same fate in mid-May and that has certainly worked out well. The 25-year-old former Mizzou Tiger and Diamondback regained his confidence against the lesser competition found at the Triple-A ranks and has racked up 33 strikeouts in 24 innings since being called back to the majors.
The Tigers will hope that the younger Porcello can match that success, or at least come close.
Porcello, 21, was drafted 27th overall in the 2007 MLB Amateur Draft and posted a 3.96 ERA, a 1.34 WHIP and a 14-9 record in 2009, finishing third in the American League Rookie of the Year Award voting behind A’s closer Andrew Bailey and Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus. He was optioned to Toledo on Sunday with a 6.14 ERA, a 1.69 WHIP and a 4-7 win-loss record.
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.