Andy Pettitte continues to make his way through the various levels of the Yankees’ minor league system, tuning up for a return to Major League Baseball.
His latest stop? The Double-A Trenton Thunder.
As noted by Thunder beat writer Mike Ashmore, Pettitte allowed seven hits and four runs — three earned — over five innings Wednesday night against the Tigers’ Double-A affiliate from Erie, Pennsylvania, walking one but striking out three. He sat around 88 mph with his fastball — which is normal — and tossed 59 of his 81 pitches for strikes.
Pettitte will likely need at least two more rehab starts to get sufficiently stretched out for major league action.
He inked a minor league deal with the Yankees this winter after sitting out the 2011 season. That pact became extra crucial with this afternoon’s revelation that Michael Pineda needs season-ending shoulder surgery.
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.