Joel Pineiro was placed on the disabled list this week due to right shoulder tightness, but the Angels were optimistic enough about his progress that he was lined up to start the home opener next Friday against the Blue Jays. That apparently won’t happen.
According to Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register, Pineiro had a setback and was scratched from his scheduled appearance in a minor league game tomorrow.
Pineiro had a 3.46 ERA and 7/1 K/BB ratio over his first four starts during Cactus League action before leaving a start against the Cubs’ Triple-A team on March 20 due to a cramp in the back of his right shoulder. He threw 59 pitches in a minor league game Tuesday.
The Angels signed Pineiro to a two-year, $16 million contract last January. The 32-year-old right-hander went 10-7 with a 3.84 ERA over 23 starts last season.
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.