If you had to pick which player would be the first to strike out five times in a game this season “someone on the Orioles” would be a pretty good guess.
Mark Reynolds led the league with more than 200 strikeouts in each of the past three seasons and leads the AL with 170 this year, but surprisingly he’s never whiffed five times in a game and instead it was teammate Chris Davis who took a Platinum Sombrero today against the Yankees.
Of course, Davis’ career strikeout rate of one every 3.1 plate appearances is nearly identical to Reynolds’ one every 3.0 plate appearances. Davis just hasn’t had the same number of chances because he hasn’t hit as well as Reynolds.
In whiffing five times today Davis became the first player with a five-strikeout game since Ryan Howard on August 24 of last season. He had a sixth at-bat in the 11th inning and fell behind in the count 0-2, but grounded out to second base with the bases loaded.
Sammy Sosa is the all-time leader with four such games, followed by Ray Lankford with three and nine different players with two apiece (including active hitters Jim Thome, Mark Teixeira, Alex Rios, and Andruw Jones).
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.