The Cardinals went a 32nd straight game without a stolen base in Tuesday’s loss to the Mets, the longest such streak for a major league team since the 1977 Indians went 35 in a row.
St. Louis opened the season with 35 steals in 64 games. However, eight of those belonged to Tyler Greene, who was sent down on June 18. Three active Cardinals are tied for the team lead with five steals: Jon Jay, Albert Pujols and Colby Rasmus.
Prior to the Cardinals’ run — or lack thereof — the longest steal-less streak for a team since 1980 was 27 games by the 2005 Red Sox. In fact, Boston was responsible for six of the 16 streaks of at least 20 games during the last 30 years.
One big difference between those two streaks, though: the Cardinals are 0-for-9 stealing bases over the 32 games, while the Red Sox were a mere 0-for-2.
If they want to go for it, the Cardinals should be able to snap the skid in one of the next two games in the series against New York. Mets catchers have thrown out just 17 of 87 would-be basestealers (19.5 percent) 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.