If the Cardinals are able to win either Game 6 or Game 7 in Milwaukee and advance to the World Series, they’ll have a nice treat waiting for them on the other end. And not just champagne, or Bud Light, or a larger share of playoff revenue.
According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, utilityman Skip Schumaker took part in a full workout Saturday at Miller Park and told the media “I’ll be ready” when asked afterward about his availability for the postseason’s final round.
Schumaker went 6-for-10 with two doubles and three RBI in the Cardinals’ impressive NLDS defeat of the Phillies. While not an elite defender, he’s capable of playing all outfield spots and second base. Nick Punto and Ryan Theriot have been handling starting duties at the keystone in Schumaker’s absence.
The Cards hold a 3-2 lead over the Brewers in the seven-game National League Championship Series.
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.