In a column for the Denver Post yesterday, former Rockies outfielder Ryan Spilborghs announced that he has hung up the spikes, ending a seven-year career in the Majors. Spilborghs, now 34 years old, hadn’t played since 2011. He spent the 2012 season with the Triple-A affiliates for the Rangers (Round Rock Express) and Indians (Columbus Clippers). He played for the Saitana Seibu Lions in Japan in 2013 but his numbers were unimpressive.
Spilborghs retires with -0.3 WAR according to Baseball Reference, but he had a few decent years with the bat as a part-time outfielder for the Rockies. In 2007-08, he combined to post a .306/.384/.477 line in 575 plate appearances.
Spilborghs wrote in his column:
I’ve spent this entire offseason contemplating sacrifices and opportunity, weighing my individual desires and that of my family. What I’ve eventually landed on, and let me say it wasn’t an individual effort, was an agreement with my mind and my heart, that I am going to move on from playing baseball.
I’ve chronicled my adventures in Japan enough for people to know that it took a lot out of me and the pure enjoyment of playing the game. I don’t regret playing there –I loved it — but it really put a part of me into clear focus: being a parent.
In his latest venture, Spilborghs will join Colorado’s Root Sports as an analyst.
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.