Another day, another Cardinal on the disabled list.
Matt Carpenter left last night’s game with a strained oblique muscle and the Cardinals have placed him on the shelf, calling up Steven Hill from Triple-A to serve as a third catcher. Hill has also played some first base and outfield, so he could move around a bit off the bench.
Carpenter would have been in line for significant playing time at third base and first base, but instead his injury all but guarantees fellow rookie Matt Adams will be an everyday player while the Cardinals wait to hear exactly how long Lance Berkman will be out following knee surgery.
Before the injury Carpenter hit .282 with three homers and an .875 OPS in 39 games after finally getting his first extended chance in the majors at age 26.
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.