Beer, fried chicken, and video games specifically got all the headlines, but various Red Sox players simply not being in peak physical condition was also an issue this season and today Boston fired strength and conditioning coach Dave Page along with assistant trainer Greg Barajas.
Rob Bradford of WEEI.com notes that Page was with the Red Sox since 1996 and won the Professional Baseball Strength Coach of the Year award in 2007, while Barajas joined the big-league staff in 2010 after many years in the minors.
Bradford reports that “the Red Sox plan on restructuring some of their approach toward the strength, conditioning, and medical side of the organization.”
When your job is “strength and conditioning coach” and the team’s conditioning is in serious question that makes getting fired something less than a shock, but the scapegoats in Boston are getting so plentiful that it’s tough to keep track at this point.
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.