The Padres promoted top first base prospect Anthony Rizzo to the major leagues on June 9 after watching the young slugger open the season with a superb .365/.444/.715 batting line and 16 home runs over his first 52 games at Triple-A Tucson.
That production quickly flat-lined in San Diego. Rizzo batted just .143/.282/.265 during a six-week stay with the Padres before being demoted on July 21.
Now the Friars are giving him another go.
According to the team’s official Twitter feed, Rizzo was promoted to the major leagues this morning and will start at first base in Sunday’s series finale against the Rockies. He should see regular playing time down the stretch as the Padres look to get him primed for next season. If all goes well goes well, the 22-year-old will head into 2012 as the Opening Day first baseman.
Rizzo was acquired from the Red Sox last winter as part of San Diego’s haul for Adrian Gonzalez.
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.