Ted Lilly has allowed six runs in each of his last three starts and had his next turn in the rotation pushed back a day because of what Ken Gurnick of MLB.com calls “a tender left elbow.”
And even while trying to downplay the injury’s impact on his recent performance Lilly told Gurnick that his elbow has “been off and on for a while.”
He’s had to skip several between-start bullpen sessions, so another poor outing tonight against the Mets could force the Dodgers to shut him down in the hopes of actually letting him get past the elbow problems rather than simply continuing to pitch through them.
Lilly has a 4.97 ERA overall, which would be his worst mark since 2005 and includes a 7.01 ERA since June 1. And the Dodgers still owe the 35-year-old left-hander $10.5 million in 2012 and $12 million in 2013.
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.