It’s been nearly six months since Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks suffered a severe left ankle sprain. And he’s still in recovery mode.
Weeks was able to return from the injury last season, but he batted just .243 with a .743 OPS over his final 46 regular-season plate appearances and went 6-for-41 (.146) in the playoffs.
Weeks talked about his ongoing rehab Sunday afternoon at the Brewers’ fan convention (via Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel):
“I’m almost at 100 percent. Very close,” Weeks said at “Brewers On Deck” at the Frontier Airlines Center in downtown Milwaukee. “Still doing rehab back home, and doing precautionary stuff to get ready for spring training.
They kind of warned me that something like this would probably take some time. The baseball activities, I can do everything. Just a little strengthening here with all the muscles around the ankle. But I’m pretty optimistic about it.”
The 29-year-old Weeks has tallied 49 home runs, 58 doubles and 132 RBI over the past two seasons.
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.