If you missed it yesterday, Diamondbacks starter Jason Marquis broke his fibula on a comebacker during the Dbacks-Mets game. He’s done for the year.
Crazy thing: he broke it on an Angel Pagan line drive in the third inning. But he stayed in the game, finished the inning and then pitched to two batters — giving up a homer to Lucas Duda and retiring Jason Bay — before falling down to the ground while throwing a pitch to Josh Thole in the fourth. The pitch hit Thole, and Marquis was pulled. Did the adrenaline wear off, or did Marquis exacerbate the injury by staying in? I suppose those things aren’t mutually-exclusive.
Losing Marquis is tough. No, not because he’s been great or anything — he certainly hasn’t — but because his potential replacements aren’t any better. Zach Duke, who finished yesterday’s game and got the win, is the most likely candidate, and he’s sporting a 5.05 ERA in swingman duties this year. Micah Owings is another, but he’s not a guy you want starting games in a pennant race.
I assume that Kevin Towers does not believe that nine innings of Single-A experience is enough for this year’s first round draft pick Trevor Bauer, but that would be pretty fun to watch. If you doubt that, check out this really well-timed article in SI about Bauer. After reading it you’ll want to see him ASAP yourself.
Anyway, bye-bye Marquis.
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.