Earlier this season general manager Jed Hoyer tried to deflect criticism aimed at hitting coach Randy Ready for the Padres’ offensive struggles, but today the team fired Ready after 2.5 seasons on the job.
San Diego scored the second-fewest runs in the league, so firing the hitting coach certainly isn’t shocking, but it’s worth noting that Petco Park played a huge role in those weak scoring totals. Away from the majors’ most extreme hitters’ ballpark the Padres scored the NL’s sixth-most road runs.
In other words, when playing in normal, non-extreme hitting environments the Padres’ lineup was slightly above average. When playing at home they were horrendous, but Petco Park turns just about every offense into a punchless one. Which is why in eight seasons calling Petco Park home the Padres have ranked 8th, 13th, 13th, 9th, 16th, 15th, 12th, and 15th among NL teams in overall scoring.
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.