Ivan Nova has been a mess in the second half, including back-to-back ugly starts in which he lasted just 2.1 and 4.2 innings, and today manager Joe Girardi dumped him from the Yankees’ rotation.
David Phelps will take Nova’s place against the Red Sox tomorrow, with Nova being available out of the bullpen for what would presumably only be low-leverage action.
Nova went 16-4 with a 3.70 ERA in 165 innings last season and headed into the all-star break this year 10-3 with a 3.92 ERA in 110 innings, but has a 7.05 ERA and .309 opponents’ batting average in 11 second-half starts with a stint on the disabled list with a shoulder injury mixed in.
Phelps has a 3.81 ERA and 50/21 K/BB ratio in 10 starts, plus a 2.76 ERA in 22 relief outings.
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.