Good news for the Athletics as they attempt to chip away at their magic number in the American League West. According to Joe Stiglich of CSNCalifornia.com, Yoenis Cespedes and Jarrod Parker will both be back in action tonight against the Angels.
Cespedes was scratched from yesterday’s lineup due to soreness in his right shoulder. However, an MRI apparently ruled out any concerns. That’s a big relief, as the 27-year-old outfielder has been playing his best baseball of the season over the past couple of weeks.
As for Parker, he missed his start yesterday against the Rangers due to illness. He’ll be looking for his 10th straight win tonight.
After sweeping the weekend series from the Rangers, the Athletics sit at 88-61 on the season and hold a lead of 6 1/2 games in the AL West. They’ll enter tonight’s action with a magic number of eight.
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.