Cardinals outfielder Allen Craig underwent surgery on his right knee around Thanksgiving and is doubtful to be ready for the start of the 2012 regular season. But his recovery, to this point, has gone smoothly.
According to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Craig is expected to have his protective leg brace removed three weeks from now. After that he’ll go through a couple months of rehab, then it’ll be on to light baseball-related workouts.
Craig, 27, batted .315 with a .917 OPS in 219 plate appearances this past year for the World Series champion Cardinals before slugging four home runs and collecting eight RBI in 37 postseason at-bats. Unless St. Louis makes a big move this winter, like signing free agent Carlos Beltran, Craig will serve as the club’s primary right fielder in 2012.
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.