Brandon McCarthy for the Diamondbacks: 3-10 with a 5.01 ERA in 18 starts.
Brandon McCarthy for the Yankees: 4-0 with a 2.08 ERA in five starts.
When the Yankees got McCarthy from the Diamondbacks on July 6 in exchange for left-hander Vidal Nuno plenty of people thought he was a prime bounceback candidate because his secondary numbers and track record were much better than his bloated ERA. But no one expected him to turn things around this much.
McCarthy has allowed zero or one earned run in four of his five starts for the Yankees and he’s also thrown 101, 99, 109, 108, and 116 pitches for New York after topping 100 pitches just four times in 18 starts for Arizona.
McCarthy is someone a lot of baseball fans (myself included) root for because he’s very amusing to follow on Twitter, leading to this exchange with noted Red Sox fan and “Parks and Recreation”and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” creator Michael Schur:
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.