UPDATE: General manager Doug Melvin announced that Gamel has a torn ACL, which likely means season-ending surgery. Very tough break for a player who waited to get his shot.
Mat Gamel left yesterday’s game after injuring his right knee chasing a foul ball and now Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports that the Brewers first baseman is headed back to Milwaukee to be examined by team doctors.
Manager Ron Roenicke sounded pretty pessimistic about Gamel’s status when asked immediately after the game, saying he feared it was serious and might be “a slight tear.”
Gamel has gotten off to a slow start as Prince Fielder’s replacement, hitting just .246 with a .641 OPS in 21 games after biding his time at Triple-A for multiple seasons. Milwaukee doesn’t have an obvious in-house replacement beyond Travis Ishikawa, so calling up Brooks Conrad or third base prospect Taylor Green from Triple-A could be options.
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.