Hanley Ramirez wasn’t the only player who suffered an injury during the World Baseball Classic championship game.
Samuel Deduno, who tossed five scoreless innings on Tuesday to lead the Dominican Republic to the title, has been scratched from his scheduled Grapefruit League start on Sunday due to groin tightness. He first felt the symptoms while pitching in Tuesday’s title game, but he didn’t think it was all that serious initially. However, the Twins shut him down after he experienced renewed discomfort while throwing a bullpen session on Thursday.
With Scott Diamond headed for the disabled list after a minor setback following elbow surgery, Deduno was being looked at as a fifth starter candidate, but Twins manager Ron Gardenhire told Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com that he may now have to look in another direction.
“He didn’t think it was a big deal but it is a big deal because you can’t start with that,” Gardenhire said. “So now we’re on hold until he gets back off that. It kind of makes us ad-lib a little bit.”
Cole DeVries, Liam Hendriks and P.J. Walters are among the alternatives if Deduno’s symptoms persist.
Deduno, 29, posted a 4.44 ERA and 57/53 over 79 innings with the Twins last season. He’s coming off a strong performance during the World Baseball Classic in which he compiled a 0.69 ERA and 17/5 K/BB ratio in 13 innings.
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.