I understand why they may want to write him off, because boy howdy has he been awful. He got shelled last night. He’s been shelled a lot this year. While he has had some bad luck in recent starts due to weather and other things, it’s hard to argue against the notion that he has earned that 10-15 record and 5.33 ERA.
It’s a performance — combined with Phil Hughes’ nice outing on Sunday — that almost certainly means that Burnett won’t get a start in the ALDS. The Yankees could go Sabathia-Pettitte-Hughes and use Sabathia once on short rest if need be. It’s certainly what I’d do.
But if they make it beyond the first round they pretty much have to use Burnett, because I can’t see Sabathia AND Pettitte AND Hughes going on short rest, nor can I see the Yankees as an organization using Ivan Nova over Burnett unless there is just no shot whatsoever that Burnett can throw some half-decent baseball. And while he’s been bad, he hasn’t shown that he’s utterly lost or hurt or something.
Boo him today Yankees fans because, let’s face it, he’s earned it. But you’re going to have to get behind A.J. Burnett if the team is to go deep into the postseason. Well, maybe you don’t have to get behind him, but you’re going to have to depend on him.
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.