Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez has been sidelined since mid-March after tearing a ligament in his right thumb sliding in a World Baseball Classic game for the Dominican Republic. He had an encouraging batting practice session prior to tonight’s game in Baltimore, displaying some impressive power according to MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly wants Ramirez to go on a rehab assignment before returning to the Dodgers’ lineup, however.
“Stan [Conte, medical director] said we’ve got to get off the trip first,” Mattingly said. “[It is] at least a week before a rehab assignment. You want him to play at least a game or two. He hasn’t played a [Major League] game in six months. He needs to get out and prove himself.”
The Dodgers are giving away a Ramirez bobblehead on April 30 and the shortstop wants to be off the disabled list in time for that, tweets Dylan Hernandez.
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.