After leaving Tuesday’s game prior to the eighth inning, Jason Heyward admitted that he’s been dealing with soreness in his right shoulder since the spring. He’s set to have an MRI.
Heyward, who went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts tonight, said the soreness has worsened in recent days and that he’s recently experienced numbness in his forearm.
Heyward is just 2-for-28 during May, and he’s yet to homer after hitting seven during the first month of the season. His average is down to .220.
If Heyward lands on the DL, the Braves will go to Eric Hinske as their primary right fielder. Such a switch would particularly hurt them defensively and deprive them of their top left-handed pinch-hitter. Hinske, who had an RBI double off the bench tonight, is batting .359 in 39 at-bats.
With Jordan Schafer and Wilkin Ramirez both struggling at Triple-A Gwinnett, the Braves may well call up veteran Jose Constanza take Heyward’s spot on the roster. Their lack of outfield depth is a real issue and something that might be addressed in a trade later on.
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.