Rays second baseman Ben Zobrist exited Wednesday afternoon’s game against the Mariners after dislocating his thumb sliding into second base on a stolen base attempt. Zobrist had singled with one out in the fifth and attempted to steal second base as David DeJesus struck out, but was thrown out at second by catcher John Buck to end the inning.
Manager Joe Maddon took Zobrist out of the game, putting Sean Rodriguez in at second base in his place. Roger Mooney of The Tampa Tribune reports that Zobrist has been diagnosed with a dislocated left thumb. It was put back in place and will stay with the team, and will be reevaluated when the Rays return home after Sunday’s series finale against the Angels in Los Angeles.
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.