Steve Gilbert reports that Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson has named Barry Enright the team’s fifth starter. Gilbert says that Gibson will “discuss what that means” later today.
Presumably it means that Armando Galarraga is heading to the bullpen or the scrapheap, as he and Enright were competing for the fifth starter’s job. Given that Galarraga gave up five runs on six hits in five innings against the Tribe in his last start and Enright gave up only two runs in five innings against the Athletics, the writing was more or less on the wall. Not that last starts had everything to do with it. Galarraga has stunk up the joint this spring.
Oh well, not having to start will give Galarraga more time to work on his book. So there’s that.
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.