While struggling to stay healthy and productive in the second half Kevin Youkilis indicated that he was headed for offseason sports hernia surgery and Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports that he’ll likely go under the knife Tuesday.
According to Bradford there’s still some chance Youkilis could decide against surgery if a last-minute examination by doctors convinces them of non-surgical options, but he’s expected to have the operation and won’t be cleared to resume physical activities for 4-6 weeks.
Youkilis hit .285 with a .911 OPS in the first half, but then batted just .199 after the All-Star break and played just 10 of the final 40 games.
He sat out the final two weeks as the Red Sox collapsed down the stretch and likely would have been unavailable for the playoffs had they hung onto the Wild Card lead.
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.