According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, the Mets have decided to shut down Zack Wheeler after he complained of shoulder stiffness following his most recent start. The 22-year-old was slated to make one more start on Monday against the Reds, but that won’t happen now. The shoulder issue isn’t a major concern and won’t require an MRI, but Mets manager Terry Collins said that they don’t want to push it after what happened with Matt Harvey.
Wheeler made his major league debut in June and ended up posting a 3.42 ERA and 84/46 K/BB ratio over 100 innings. He faded a bit this month, walking 12 batters in 17 innings, but the Mets have to be pleased with what they saw during his first stint in the big leagues.
Wheeler will wrap up the year with 168 2/3 innings between the majors and minors, a 20-inning jump from what he threw last year between Double-A and Triple-A. If healthy, he should have a chance to progress to the 200-inning mark during his first full season in the majors next year.
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.