Shane Victorino has been activated from the disabled list after missing two weeks with a sprained right thumb.
Victorino went 5-for-15 (.333) with a homer during a brief rehab assignment and will be in the starting lineup tonight against the Cubs, with Pete Orr heading back to Triple-A to make room for him on the roster.
Prior to the injury Victorino was having the best season of his career, leading the Phillies in batting average (.303), on-base percentage (.376), slugging percentage (.524), and OPS (.900) while stealing 13 bases in 15 attempts and scoring 53 runs in 68 games.
Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports that Victorino will wear a protective brace on his thumb when on base to guard against aggravating the injury and may also try to avoid head-first slides. Philadelphia went 6-4 in his absence, with John Mayberry Jr. doing most of the fill-in work.
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.