Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter is in his 20th and final season in the majors, but he managed to do something last night for the first time in his long and storied career. It wasn’t a good thing.
Jeter had his first 0-for-7 as the Yankees lost 10-5 to the Rays in 14 innings. As Danny Knobler of ESPN New York notes, the 39-year-old had gone hitless 596 other times in his career, including 0-for-6 on multiple occasions, but never an 0-for-7 until last night. It obviously takes a unique situation to make that possible. And last night’s game was exactly that. It was a strange one.
Jeter grounded out five times and flew out twice in the loss. He had a chance to play hero in the bottom of the 13th, but grounded out with the bases loaded. His batting average dropped from .272 to .250 in one night.
“I don’t even remember the first four of them,” Jeter told the Associated Press after the game. “It’s one of those days, know what I mean? Some days when you think you’ve seen it all, there’s something new.”
After the 14-inning marathon last night, Jeter is understandably getting a rest this afternoon.
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.