Detroit’s shortstops have been incredibly bad this season, hitting a combined .191 with one homer and a .484 OPS in 54 games, and today the Tigers made a move to address that mess by calling up minor leaguer Eugenio Suarez from Triple-A.
Suarez isn’t considered a top prospect and almost surely wouldn’t be arriving in the majors at age 22 if not for the Tigers’ terrible production at the position, but he’s hit very well between Double-A and Triple-A this season.
He began the year at Double-A and then got a promotion to Triple-A two weeks ago, batting .288 with eight homers and an .870 OPS in 54 games between the two levels. Suarez’s track record isn’t as promising–he hit just .264 with a .744 OPS last year–but between his age and current production there’s a chance he could hold his own versus big leaguers. And obviously it won’t take much for him to be a huge upgrade.
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.