Reds reliever Aroldis Chapman threw live batting practice on Saturday afternoon at Turner Field, hours before his team took on the Braves. He did so without a protective screen, a great sign. But the lefty wants to throw one more batting practice session before heading out on a rehab assignment, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon writes.
“I would be able to go to the Minor Leagues right now, but to be honest, I need at least one more simulated game,” Chapman said via translator Tomas Vera. “I think that’s what we’re going to do — throw another simulated game before I decide to go somewhere else.”
Chapman is tentatively scheduled for another live BP on Tuesday at Great American Ball Park.
Chapman is recovering from facial fractures after he was hit in the face with a line drive off of the bat of Salvador Perez in a spring training game. If he suffers no setbacks, he could rejoin the Reds some time in the middle of May.
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.