Nationals right-hander Doug Fister battled elbow inflammation for much of spring training and then suffered a lat strain on March 27, forcing him to a season-opening disabled list stint. He is aiming to join Washington’s rotation around early May and currently appears to be on track to reach that goal.
According to beat writer Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com, Fister is expected to resume throwing on Thursday — first with light tosses from 60 feet on flat ground before eventually moving on to bullpen sessions and minor league rehab starts.
Fister was acquired this offseason from the Tigers in exchange for infielder Steve Lombardozzi and left-handers Ian Krol and Robbie Ray. He had a cool 3.67 ERA in 208 2/3 innings last summer with Detroit.
Tanner Roark and Taylor Jordan both opened the year in the Nats’ rotation because of Fister’s injury.
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.