Dodgers right-hander Brian Wilson has a 10.22 ERA this season, allowing 15 runs in 16 appearances while occasionally struggling to crack 90 miles per hour with his once-overpowering fastball.
That’s quite a change from last season, when Wilson returned from Tommy John surgery to throw 13.2 innings with a 0.66 ERA and convinced the Dodgers to re-sign him to a one-year, $10 million deal with an $8.5 million player option for 2015.
All of which is why manager Don Mattingly sounds worried about Wilson when talking to Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times:
You couldn’t see the velocity out there. Some of those are 88-89, stuff like that, even less. It does concern us a little bit, but then toward the end of the inning, he’s dialing it up. The other day he comes out, it’s 88-90. By the end of the inning he’s throwing 96. But there are concerns.
When asked if Wilson is injured, Mattingly replied: “He says he’s healthy.” Not exactly a ringing endorsement, especially considering he began the season on the disabled list with an elbow problem.
And that $8.5 million player option is looking like a sure thing to get picked up this offseason.
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.