Hardly shocking news, but Giants manager Bruce Bochy announced this evening that Madison Bumgarner will start Game 2 of the NLDS against the Reds on Sunday in San Francisco.
Matt Cain and Johnny Cueto are set to square off in the series opener on Saturday night.
Bumgarner will be opposed by Bronson Arroyo. The Reds plan to use Mat Latos in Game 3 while Bochy hasn’t decided on a starter yet, as he has left open the possibility of using Tim Lincecum, Barry Zito or Ryan Vogelsong out of the bullpen during the first two games of the series.
Bumgarner posted a 3.37 ERA and 191/49 K/BB ratio in 208 1/3 innings over 32 starts this season. The 23-year-old southpaw didn’t exactly finish the season on a high note, giving up four runs or more in five out of his final seven starts. He hasn’t completed seven innings since August 20. On the bright side, Bumgarner tossed a one-hitter in his lone start against the Reds this season back on June 28.
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.