Texas placed Mitch Moreland on the disabled list after the first baseman left last night’s game with a strained hamstring.
Moreland is the only Ranger to play in each of the team’s 58 games, hitting .288 with 12 homers and an .899 OPS that’s more than a 100-point improvement on his career mark.
For today Lance Berkman is starting at first base and Jeff Baker is at designated hitter, but the Rangers have called up first baseman Chris McGuiness from Triple-A. Acquired from the Red Sox in 2010 as part of the Jarrod Saltalamacchia deal, McGuiness was selected by the Indians in the Rule 5 draft this winter and then returned to the Rangers during spring training.
He’s hit .275 with six homers and an .858 OPS in 55 career games at Triple-A and has the potential be a decent short-term fill-in for Moreland if given an extended chance at first base.
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.