Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez was diagnosed with a left knee strain on Saturday after sliding too hard into the second base bag during a Cactus League game against the Angels. It was his first double of the spring and he was probably running too aggressively. But everything should be fine.
According to beat writer Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, initial tests have ruled out structural damage and Ramirez could be back in Cactus League games after “a few days” of rest.
“A slight strain right now is what they’re calling it,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke told reporters on Saturday night. “When he slid into the bag, it was the impact. They checked it out and they don’t think there’s any damage. It’s day to day and that usually ends up being more than just a day.”
Ramirez, 34, hit .300/.360/.540 with 27 home runs and 105 RBI in 149 games last season.
UPDATE, 10:55 AM: Todd Rosiak of the Journal-Sentinel reports that Ramirez was “limping noticeably” when he arrived back at the Brewers’ clubhouse on Sunday morning and has been sent for an MRI. “It doesn’t feel too good right now,” said the veteran third baseman, “but the good thing is it’s not swelling at all. It’s just sore.” The lack of swelling probably means that Ramirez has no major ligament damage.
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.