The Rockies, currently 11 1/2 games back of the Dodgers in the NL West, will have to go it without their All-Star shortstop for the next couple of weeks, as Troy Tulowitzki was placed on the DL Thursday due to a strained left groin.
Tulo had just been warming up at the plate, hitting four homers during a current nine-game hitting streak. His OPS had jumped from .741 to .846 during the span. He’d had also cut way back on the errors after a stunning early season binge.
With Tulowitzki out, the Rockies are expected to shift Marco Scutaro over to shortstop, putting Chris Nelson, who is coming off the DL after missing time with an inflamed wrist, and D.J. LeMahieu at second base. It doesn’t sound like the Rockies have any intention of putting Eric Young Jr. back there. Young spent most of his minor league career at second, but he’s been used exclusively in the outfield this season.
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.