Jarred Cosart has struggled with his control at Triple-A, walking 50 batters in 93 innings, but the Astros have decided that the 23-year-old right-hander is ready for the majors and he’ll make his debut tomorrow against the Rays.
Cosart was acquired from the Phillies as part of the haul for Hunter Pence in 2011 and MLB.com ranked him as the No. 89 prospect coming into the season. Aside from the spotty control he’s pitched very well at Triple-A with a 3.29 ERA and 93 strikeouts in 93 innings, holding opponents to a .213 batting average.
Cosart has electric raw stuff, throwing a heavy mid-90s fastball that generates tons of ground balls and very few homers. He hasn’t fared particularly well of late, allowing five runs and four walks in his final Triple-A start last week, and the Rays are a relatively tough debut matchup with the fifth-best offense in the league.
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.