Josh Tomlin

Indians again edge Reds behind Josh Tomlin, Travis Buck

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The Indians were 28-47 after 75 games last season.  To match that record in 2011, they’d have to lose 32 in a row.

Cleveland again topped Cincinnati by a run Saturday, winning 2-1, and will get a chance to go for a sweep in the battle of Ohio behind Carlos Carrasco on Sunday.

Impressive again was Josh Tomlin, who is now 9-for-9 in turning in quality starts after allowing one run over seven innings.  He has an incredible 0.82 WHIP in 59 2/3 innings.  Cliff Lee had the game’s best WHIP last year at barely over 1.00 — he allowed 213 hits+walks in 212 1/3 innings.  Tomlin has allowed 39 hits and 10 walks so far this year.

Travis Buck was the offensive hero for Cleveland.  The Indians need someone to step up in the DH slot with Travis Hafner down, and candidates Buck, Shelley Duncan and Austin Kearns had combined for one homer in 155 at-bats this season before Buck took Homer Bailey deep to give the Indians their only two runs today.

With the victory, the Indians moved to 28-15 this season.  No other AL team has fewer than 20 losses.

The Reds dropped to 25-21 by losing their fourth in a row and fell 1 1/2 games behind the Cardinals in the NL Central.

Josh Johnson retires from baseball

PEORIA, AZ - FEBRUARY 21: Josh Johnson #55 of the San Diego Padres poses during Picture Day on February 21, 2014 at the Peoria Sports Complex in Peoria, Arizona. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images)
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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.

Report: Angels close to a multi-year deal with Luis Valbuena

HOUSTON, TX - JULY 08:  Luis Valbuena #18 of the Houston Astros hits a three run walkoff home run in the ninth inning to defeat the Oakland Athletics 10-9 at Minute Maid Park on July 8, 2016 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
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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.