Wow, ever write a blog post and realize that you didn’t need much more than the headline. Yep, that pretty much says it all: Juan Samuel will be the third base coach, Sam Perlozzo moves to first.
This pretty much negates everything I said about Samuel’s stolen base proficiency the other day, because it’s not too often that he’ll be talking a guy at third into snagging home. More importantly, however, it may lessen the ire of a lot of Phillies fans who had grown unhappy with Perlozzo’s work sending and stopping runners.
It seems like every team’s fan base has some issue with their third base coach, and I don’t know that we’ve yet come up with a good way to determine, objectively, how good a job a third base coach really does (we do believe that they should send more runners). However, Philly fans have complained about Perlozzo pretty steadily. And that wonderful play in the NLCS in which Roy Oswalt ran right through Perlozzo’s stop sign to score was one of the more notable rebuke’s of a base coach’s authority in recent history. The pitcher, dude. Even he trust you.
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.