C.J. Wilson struggled before going on the disabled list in early July with a right ankle sprain, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia told Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register this afternoon that the left-hander is penciled in to make his return Saturday against the Rays.
Wilson, 33, owns a 4.33 ERA and 107/48 K/BB ratio in 116 1/3 innings over 19 starts this season. He had a 6.81 ERA over his final eight starts before hitting the DL with the ankle injury, but he recently told Fletcher that lost flexibility in his left hip contributed to his struggles and that he’s feeling “way better” now.
If Wilson is healthy again, that could be like an impact trade acquisition for the final two months of the regular season. At least that’s what the Angels have to be hoping, especially after tonight’s scare with Tyler Skaggs.
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.