Giants manager Bruce Bochy announced Sunday afternoon — as relayed by Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle — that right-hander Sergio Romo has been stripped of the club’s closer gig. The Giants plan to use a committee for a while, with righty Santiago Casilla and lefty Jeremy Affeldt getting the majority of the save opportunities.
Romo blew his fifth save of the season on Saturday night when he allowed a two-run homer to Brandon Phillips in the top of the ninth inning after issuing a leadoff walk to Joey Votto. The Giants lost the tilt in extra innings and are now just one game up on the surging Dodgers in the NL West standings.
Romo owns a rough 5.17 ERA in 31 1/3 total innings this season for San Francisco.
He had a 2.54 ERA in 60 1/3 innings last season and a 1.79 ERA in 2012.
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.