UPDATE: According to Tom Gage of the Detroit News, Verlander will undergo an MRI tomorrow.
8:31 p.m. ET: According to Tom Gage of the Detroit News, Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander left tonight’s start against the Pirates in the second inning due to right shoulder soreness. This isn’t what the Tigers needed after they played 19 innings yesterday against the Blue Jays.
Verlander was hit hard before exiting, allowing five runs (four earned) while throwing 40 pitches. Two errors behind him didn’t help matters, but he also gave up four hits and walked two batters. He actually came up to bat in the top of the second inning and dropped down a sacrifice bunt before being replaced by Justin Miller.
Verlander hasn’t looked like himself all season and holds a 4.76 ERA after tonight’s outing. He’s scheduled to be reevaluated tomorrow, but it’s fair to wonder how long this has been an issue.
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.