Colby Rasmus is headed to the disabled list with an oblique strain and the Blue Jays have called up outfielder Kevin Pillar to replace him on the roster.
Rasmus was having a very nice bounceback season after struggling last year, hitting .273 with 18 homers, 26 doubles, and an .812 OPS in 112 games at age 26. Now he’ll miss the rest of this month and, based on how most oblique injuries go, could be sidelined well into September.
Pillar will be making his MLB debut at age 24 after hitting .307 with nine homers, 23 steals, and an .814 OPS in 123 games between Double-A and Triple-A. He was a 32nd-round pick and is not considered a top prospect, but Pillar is a career .321 hitter in 311 games as a minor leaguer.
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.