As recently as three weeks ago Grady Sizemore seemed optimistic about returning from the disabled list in early June, but as has so often been the case with the former star setbacks have squashed those plans.
In updating Sizemore’s status yesterday manager Manny Acta admitted that the center fielder is nowhere close to returning from knee and back surgeries because he hasn’t been cleared to run the bases yet and there isn’t even a timetable for him to begin a minor-league rehab assignment.
Sizemore expressed his understandable frustration to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
I’m beyond being anxious or frustrated. I can’t even explain it. It’s almost feels like a part of you is missing. I’ve learned that rushing and trying to get back as soon as possible didn’t work. I tried that last year and I just ended up putting myself in a worse position. That’s why we’re taking it slow now. That’s why it’s important to not just feel good, but to feel really good, to feel great.
Michael Brantley has played well shifting to center field in Sizemore’s absence, but the Indians investing $5 million to re-sign the oft-injured 29-year-old is looking more and more like a sunk cost.
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.