Cardinals third baseman David Freese has a history of foot and ankle problems, so there was reason for great concern when he was removed from Monday’s lineup after stepping on a soft spot in the indoor batting cage at Houston’s Minute Maid Park.
But things are looking up just 24 hours later.
According to Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, Freese told reporters Tuesday that he is “sore” but “walking around alright.” He is not playing Tuesday night and won’t play on Wednesday either, but the 2011 World Series MVP should be fine for Friday’s series-opener with the Nationals.
Matt Carpenter, batting .304/.372/.482 in 317 plate appearances, will continue to fill in at the hot corner.
Freese, 29, has posted a .296/.373/.471 batting line with 20 homers and 79 RBI in 140 games 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.