UPDATE: Change of plans. Yonder Alonso’s hand injury hasn’t gotten any better, so the Padres announced that they’re placing him on the DL to make room for Maybin and Blanks will stick around.
San Diego center fielder Cameron Maybin is off the disabled list after missing nearly two months with a wrist injury and to make room on the roster the Padres demoted Kyle Blanks to Triple-A.
Based strictly on performance it’s tough to argue that Blanks deserves the trip back to the minors, as his .796 OPS in 36 games ranks second on the entire Padres team behind only Carlos Quentin at .816. However, with Quentin and Maybin starting every day in the outfield the Padres would apparently rather use Chris Denorfia as the right-handed-hitting platoon partner for Will Venable.
Blanks is hurt by having a minor-league option remaining, but it’s hard to imagine the Padres not calling him back up relatively soon. As for Maybin, he was very productive on a nine-game rehab assignment, but was struggling before being placed on the DL and has hit just .233 with a .633 OPS in 157 games since the beginning of last season.
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.