They’ve already set a new modern record for the most hitless at-bats to begin a season, but the Mets’ pitchers aren’t done yet. After another 0-for yesterday the pitching staff is a collective 0-for-55 at the plate this year.
Manager Terry Collins told Adam Rubin that the Mets want pitchers to take more live batting practice outdoors in an effort to make them somewhat less horrendous hitters.
I also loved this quote from poor Bartolo Colon, who’s 0-for-10 this season and hasn’t had a hit since 2005 in part because he’s been in the AL that whole time:
I’m not a good hitter. This is new for me. I’m trying to get used to the fact that I’m now going to have to hit. This is all new for me. Every pitcher that I now face is new for me.
But once Colon gets comfortable with facing the NL pitchers, look out.
My prediction: Jon Niese will end the hitless streak before it gets to 100 at-bats.
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.