Mets top catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud, a native of Long Beach, California, made his major league debut on Saturday night at San Diego’s Petco Park. With family and friends in attendance, d’Arnaud walked in the top of the second inning, flied out to center in the fourth inning, grounded out to third base in the fifth and drew his second walk of the night in the eighth. He finished 0-for-2 with two walks.
The 24-year-old allowed a passed ball on defense in the sixth inning and the Mets wound up losing to the Padres 8-2, but it was a mostly positive evening for the 37th overall pick in the 2007 MLB Amateur Draft.
D’Arnaud, acquired from the Blue Jays this winter as part of the seven-player R.A. Dickey trade, was a .328/.402/.588 hitter with 18 home runs and 64 RBI in 86 games at the Triple-A level.
The Mets haven’t said yet whether he’s up for good, but d’Arnaud has a bright future either way.
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.