You know who doesn’t have closed-door meetings? Teams on the right track:
Immediately after the game, Mattingly held a closed-door clubhouse meeting that lasted several minutes so that the players, he said, could discuss “where we’re at and where do we want to go?”
“We’ve got to do better,” Mattingly said. “I continue to believe in these guys,” he said, but Thursday’s game was “a loss that we really can’t afford, and that’s it.”
Attrition is a bitch. Matt Kemp is hurt. Kenley Jansen has heart trouble. Chad Billingsley is gone. The new additions have been welcome, but it hasn’t translated to wins. L.A. is 16-17 since acquiring Hanley Ramirez. They’re 2-4 since getting Beckett, Gonzalez, Punto and the promise of future Carl Crawford.
The saving grace: they have a lot of games left against San Francisco and only a small wild card deficit. But really, you can’t go and get swept by division rivals like the Dbacks when you’re short several hands on deck.
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.