Twins first baseman Justin Morneau has been sidelined since the first week of July due to a concussion and post-concussion symptoms. And it’s not looking like he is close at all to returning to action.
Morneau told Phil Mackey of Minneapolis’ ESPN 1500 AM on Wednesday that he is having “more good days than bad days” at this point, but also that he still has headaches from time to time. Because of the knowledge the sports world has gained concerning head injuries and their long-term effects, the Twins aren’t going to activate him until he is fully symptom free.
The big first baseman was posting MVP-like numbers over the first half of the season and could provide a big boost to the playoff-bound Twins if he is able to make an early-October return.
Through 296 at-bats, Morneau had a .345/.437/.618 batting line, 18 home runs and 56 RBI.
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.