It’s not easy being a Phillies fan at the moment. The team keeps losing, half the infield is injured and your manager is doing crazy stuff like naming Omar Infante and Ryan Howard to the All-Star team instead of Joey Votto. Chaos, basically.
Then you have to wake up on a fine Monday morning and read that your team is seriously considering a trade for the Royals’ Willie Bloomquist.
Look, I like Willie Bloomquist in a Jose Oquendo kind of way. He plays every position. He’s also fast and is, by all accounts a nice guy. But the man has zero pop and at his best — his absolute best — he’s a poor on-base guy. Useful? I guess he is inasmuch as his versatility could help prevent a forfeit if the rest of the team suffers from some staggered food poisoning event or something. But really, he’s like a Swiss Army knife with three dull blades, rusty scissors and a broken corkscrew. He does a million things, only none of them well.
Chase Utley is going to be gone for a long time. Placido Polanco is still out. At the moment the Phillies are running out a handful of career minor leaguers out there in their place. Just because the Mariners and Royals were too dumb to realize that Bloomquist should have spent more time at AAA doesn’t make him any different.
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.