Freddie Freeman reported to spring training in The Best Shape Of His Life, but the Braves’ first baseman is expected to sit out at least two weeks after injuring his right knee in this morning’s workout.
Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports that “Freeman’s right knee popped out of place as he reached to pick a low throw at first base” and “he limped off the field and was still walking with a heavy limp as he made his way toward a photo shoot on Tuesday afternoon.”
Freeman told Bowman that he had a similar injury at Triple-A and ended up missing only a couple weeks, so there’s some optimism that he’ll be healthy in time for Opening Day.
Eric Hinske would seemingly be in line to step in at first base if needed, assuming it isn’t a major injury.
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.