Philadelphia Phillies v Arizona Diamondbacks

Placido Polanco will likely receive epidural injection for ailing lower back

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Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports that Placido Polanco will likely receive an epidural injection due to lingering pain from the bulging disc in his lower back.

“The idea was thrown out by the doctors in Philly,” Polanco said late Monday afternoon. “They say they really help. I’ve tried rest and medication. I’m at the point where I think I’ll have the injection. It’s still sore.”

According to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Enquirer, Polanco could receive the shot as soon as Thursday when the team returns home. The 35-year-old third baseman is eligible to return from the disabled list on Wednesday, though he obviously won’t be back any time soon.

Polanco hasn’t played since July 4, but the injury has hampered his production for a number of weeks now. After beginning the season with a .398 batting average in April, he’s batting just .216/.276/.261 with two homers and a .537 OPS since the start of May.

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.