After seeing brain injuries derail the careers of Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, and Denard Span in recent years Twins fans know all too well that there’s no such thing as, in general manager Terry Ryan’s words, “just a concussion.”
Still, considering how ugly Byron Buxton’s outfield collision at Double-A looked Wednesday night it qualifies as relatively positive news that the consensus No. 1 prospect in baseball avoided any other major injuries.
Buxton collided full-speed with the right fielder while trying to make a diving catch and was unconscious for several minutes before being taken by ambulance to a hospital. He’s been placed on the seven-day concussion disabled list, which means there’s a good chance his season is over after just 31 total games, as he previously missed two-months following a spring training wrist injury.
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.