When the Rangers acquired Koji Uehara from the Orioles at the trade deadline, they were hoping he would be a stabilizing force for the backend of their bullpen. However, he’s been anything but during the postseason, allowing five runs on five hits (including three home runs) in just 1 1/3 innings over three appearances.
Other members of the Rangers’ bullpen have pitched well during his struggles, so Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com notes that Uehara could be left off the World Series roster if right-hander Mark Lowe is deemed healthy.
Lowe hasn’t pitched since September 20 due to a left hamstring strain, but posted a 3.80 ERA and 42/19 K/BB ratio over 45 innings during the regular season. The 28-year-old right-hander threw a bullpen session earlier today, after which Rangers manager Ron Washington told Drew Davison of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that the team is looking over its options.
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.