Adam Loewen has had a weird career. He was a pitcher with the Orioles from 2006 through 2008. That didn’t go so great, and his pitching career effectively ended when he suffered some injuries. When the Blue Jays signed him following his release from the O’s, he became an outfielder. And he even made it up to the majors in 2011 as an outfielder. Not many guys can pull that off.
Of course, Loewen didn’t pull it off for long. Since those 14 games in the bigs with the Jays in 2011, he’s been banging around the minors and not really distinguishing himself. So now he’s changing back: he’s pitching for the Phillies Double-A affiliate, as a pitcher.
He’s apparently hitting 92 on the gun and his arm issues from six years ago are in the rear view mirror. He’s 2-5 with a 3.26 ERA in 14 starts for Reading this season, but he’s pitched better in recent outings.
Third time the charm?
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.