Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos is on track to begin a minor league rehab assignment tomorrow with Double-A Harrisburg, reports Chase Hughes of CSNWashington.com.
Ramos, who landed on the disabled list earlier this month with a strained left hamstring, was able to run the bases and take batting practice this afternoon. He’s expected to catch three innings tomorrow and play again on Saturday, which likely sets him up to be activated for Monday’s series opener against the Braves in Atlanta.
Ramos was hitting .300 (6-for-20) with two home runs and three RBI in six games prior to the injury. The Nationals are still easing him back in after he was limited to 25 games last season due to knee surgery, so he will split catching duties with Kurt Suzuki upon his return.
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.