Mark Teixeira was forced to leave today’s game due to soreness in his right wrist, but Carlos Beltran is making encouraging progress as he attempts to rejoin the Yankees.
According to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com, Beltran took batting practice today and will do it again tomorrow. If all goes well, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said the next step will be a discussion on a possible minor league rehab assignment.
The fear was that Beltran would require in-season surgery to remove a bone spur from his right elbow, potentially costing him as much as 6-12 weeks. A pair of cortisone shots have helped minimized the discomfort, but the real test will be playing in a competitive environment again. Still, good news so far.
Beltran, who signed a three-year, $45 million deal with the Yankees over the winter, was batting .234/.286/.430 with five home runs and 15 RBI over 33 games prior to going on the disabled list.
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.