It was a very calm first two months for the MLB discpline department, so apparently Joe Torre and company are making up for lost time.
The Nationals’ Jason Marquis drew a five-game suspension today for throwing at the Diamondbacks’ Justin Upton in Sunday’s game. Arizona’s Esmerling Vazquez got three games for retaliating as a result of throwing at Danny Espinosa two innings later.
The two managers, Jim Riggleman and Kirk Gibson, were also suspended one game apiece. Those two suspensions will be served tonight. The players will appeal.
All four were also fined undisclosed amounts.
Both teams had already been issued warnings before the incidents that led to the player suspensions, so the managerial suspensions were pretty much automatic. Marquis, though, has denied that he had any intention of throwing at Upton in the sixth, literally pointing to the fact that it was a 1-0 game at the time (he actually motioned to the scoreboard after being tossed).
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.