Jackie MacMullan of ESPN Boston reports that Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia is scheduled to undergo surgery to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb next Tuesday (November 12). The thumb surgery was fully expected, but the exact design of the operation could be a surprise:
“I guess because I played with [the injury] the whole year, it’s made it a little tougher,” Pedroia explained Tuesday. “If they do the normal surgery, there has to be some good endings [of the ligament] to re-attach it. If there’s not, we have to do it a different way.”
That “different way” would involve the extraction of a wrist tendon, which would then be used to re-attach the torn ligament in his left thumb. But the expectation remains that Pedroia will be ready for the start of Red Sox spring training next February in Fort Myers, Florida. “They made it seem like it’s no big deal,” Pedroia told ESPN Boston. “It may cost me an extra couple of weeks longer to recover, that’s all.”
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.