The Yankees haven’t made a guess as to when Andy Pettitte will be ready to start a major league game. But we can probably rule out all of April.
The veteran left-hander told George King III of the New York Post on Saturday morning in Yankees camp that his legs “are not in shape” yet and that he must get them properly tuned up before he can progress to the next step in his throwing program.
So far, Pettitte has made it through two innings of simulated action. “The last thing I want to do is rush something,” he said Saturday. “At this point, it wouldn’t be smart. [The simulated game] was great, but it’s not a real game. It’s still not another team.’’
Pettitte signed a minor league contract with the Yankees in mid-March. He sat out the entire 2011 season after posting an 11-3 record, 3.28 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and 101/41 K/BB ratio across 129 innings in 2010.
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.