Carl Crawford is getting close to appearing in his first game as a member of the Dodgers.
According to Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A., Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said this morning that Crawford is tentatively scheduled to make his Cactus League debut tomorrow as the designated hitter against the Padres. That’s assuming he makes it through a minor league game this afternoon with no issues.
“He’s sore leg-wise today. He’s only going to get three at-bats today,” Mattingly said. “It’s really more of a first time he’s played soreness. If everything goes well with that and he comes tomorrow and is good, we’re going to DH him.”
Crawford, who is working his way back from Tommy John surgery, logged some at-bats on the minor league side on Thursday and Friday. He has also played catch the past two days, his first throwing since he was shut down late last month due to some tightness in his left forearm.
While Crawford is beginning to make progress, his status for the start of the season is in doubt. Skip Schumaker and Jerry Hairston, Jr. will likely share left field duties if he needs more time.
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.