Marlins ace Jose Fernandez turned in a rare clunker of a start Friday against the Padres, allowing six runs in five innings and serving up two homers after giving up a total of two homers through his first seven starts.
Fernandez is human, of course, so a start that pushed his ERA from 1.74 to 2.44 isn’t exactly earth-shattering news, but it turns out he was pitching sick. So sick, in fact, that he threw up in the dugout just before taking the mound:
Fernandez said he felt bad throwing his warmup pitches in the bullpen after having his normal pre-game steak and threw up in a dugout garbage can during the first inning when the Marlins were at the plate. …
Fernandez said he almost threw up while standing on the mound in the first, too. Fernandez’s fastball velocity was down several ticks, and he didn’t throw the pitch as much as he does normally. But he said his arm is perfectly fine.
Angels reliever Joe Smith recently had to skip a save opportunity because he threw up in the bullpen right as manager Mike Scioscia called to have him warm up, so I suppose this can be viewed as yet another way in which Jose Fernandez is superior to other pitchers. He throws up and keeps pitching.
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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.