The timetable for Carl Crawford’s return is still up in the air, but he continues to make progress in his rehab from a hamstring injury.
Crawford was able to run the bases this afternoon for the first time since being placed on the disabled list last month, according to Joe McDonald of ESPNBoston.com. More specifically, he ran from first base to second and from first to third. He was also able to take batting practice.
Red Sox manager Terry Francona hasn’t dismissed the possibility that Crawford could be back before the All-Star break, but said that he won’t rush him back just to play one game.
“If he’s ready on Sunday, we would probably wait,” Francona said. “If he’s ready before that, (general manager) Theo (Epstein) and I need to sit down and talk to Carl, which we will do. If you’re going to play one game when you’re supposed to have another four days (off) you’ll take the four days.”
Crawford is hitting .243/.275/.384 with six homers, 31 RBI, eight stolen bases and a .659 OPS over his first 277 plate appearances this 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.