Ryan Ludwick has been on the disabled list since separating his shoulder on Opening Day, but the Reds outfielder is scheduled to begin a minor-league rehab assignment Wednesday at Single-A.
Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports that he’s been hitting for two weeks and began taking batting practice with the Reds a few days ago, but according to Ludwick “it’s obviously going to be a longer rehab assignment.”
He’ll get a maximum of 20 days to rehab, although that clock can be restarted at any time if there’s a setback or a new injury. Either way, it sounds like early August is probably the targeted return date right now.
Ludwick hit .275 with 26 homers and an .877 OPS in 125 games last season, re-signing with the Reds on a two-year, $15 million deal. In his absence Cincinnati’s left fielders have hit a combined .245 with nine homers and a .700 OPS in 98 games.
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.