All offseason I’ve been wondering if the Marlins are nuts for thinking Chris Coghlan can hack it defensively as an everyday center fielder, but it may be a while before we find out.
Coghlan has been sidelined by a inflammation and tendinitis in his rotator cuff and recently suffered a setback, with Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post now reporting that he “might not be ready for Opening Day.”
Here’s what Coghlan said about his current status:
My arm is just not ready to go. I can’t keep going out there and kind of baby-ing my arm. Hopefully it gets better and I’ll be ready to go April 1. Hopefully, I’ll be able to go before then and play the last couple of games with the team. That’s what I want. Time will tell.
In the meantime Coghlan’s only game action will come against minor leaguers and Capozzi reports that he’ll avoid “testing his throwing arm.” So, to any Marlins prospects reading this: Feel free to take that extra base on anything hit to center field!
Capozzi speculates that DeWayne Wise would get the nod in center field if Coghlan begins the season on the disabled, which shows the Marlins’ lack of depth and the risk of trusting that Coghlan can handle center field even setting aside the injury. Wise is a career-long journeyman with a .222 batting average and .260 on-base percentage in 362 games. He’s a much better defender than Coghlan, but overall he’s Triple-A caliber.
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.