Will Middlebrooks had Red Sox fans freaking out yesterday when he injured his right wrist on a swing, was looked at on the field by trainers, and slammed his batting helmet to the ground before exiting the game.
Middlebrooks missed the final two months of last season after fracturing the same wrist, but this time around he appears to have avoided anything serious.
According to Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com the Red Sox think Middlebrooks’ discomfort yesterday was simply due to some scar tissue breaking up, with the third baseman explaining:
That’s our best bet. Nothing’s broken, nothing’s torn. It was just kind of a scary, awkward swing and we wanted to make sure everything’s fine. It’s not as serious as we thought it was. It was just more of a scare because of the area where it was, right where I broke it last year. I just took a swing and obviously it looked pretty awkward and felt just as awkward as it looks.
X-rays weren’t even taken, which clearly suggests everyone is convinced it’s nothing major, but Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Red Sox will send Middlebrooks to a wrist specialist.
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.