Cardinals manager Mike Matheny will leave camp in Jupiter, Florida to head back to St. Louis for a procedure on his ailing back. MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch has the details:
The procedure, which is called a microdisectomy, will help alleviate the pain that has been caused by a ruptured disc. A fragment from the disc that is pressing against a nerve will be removed.
Matheny will miss the club’s games on Monday and Tuesday but is expected to return to Jupiter, Fla., on Wednesday, which is an off day for the team.
In Matheny’s absence, bench coach Mike Aldrete will become the active manager. First base coach Chris Maloney takes Aldrete’s spot as bench coach, and Memphis Redbirds manager Ron Warner takes Maloney’s spot at first base.
Matheny, who has not only suffered from back problems but countless concussions as well, was in the news recently as an advocate for improving catcher safety.
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.