Valbuena tragically passed away after being involved in a car accident Thursday in Venezuela, Jeff Fletcher of The Orange County Register reports.
Valbuena played with the Mariners, Indians, Cubs, Astros and Angels over 11 major-league seasons and was only 33 years old.
Valbuena was released by the Angels on Tuesday.
Unsurprisingly, no team wanted to claim a 32-year-old who hasn't reached the Mendoza Line in two seasons. He has done enough earlier in his career for him to latch on somewhere on a minor-league deal, but he's unlikely to make a significant fantasy impact unless he makes an unexpected turnaround.
The Angels designated Valbuena for assignment Sunday, Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports.
With the Angels needing to clear a roster spot for their starting pitcher Sunday against the Indians (Deck McGuire), Valbuena was the chosen casualty in light of his season-long struggles at the dish. Though the lefty-hitting corner man has been an asset against right-handed pitching for most of his career, Valbuena has delivered a porous .196/.246/.330 batting line (54 wRC+) in those matchups this season. It seems unlikely that any team would be willing to trade for Valbuena or put in a waiver claim for him with the 32-year-old carrying an $8 million base salary for 2018, so it's expected that he'll remain with the Angels organization and accept a minor-league assignment in order to collect the remaining money he's owed.
Valbuena will sit for the second straight game Saturday against Cleveland, Jeff Fletcher of The Orange County Register reports.
The trade of Ian Kinsler seemed to open up playing time for Valbuena, with David Fletcher sliding over from third base to second. Instead, it's been Kaleb Cowart who's started three straight games at third. Valbuena figures to fill in occasionally at various spots, but his .199/.253/.335 season line certainly doesn't demand more playing time.
Valbuena is not in the lineup against the Indians on Friday.
Valbuena will take a seat in favor of Kaleb Cowart at third base for the series opener. Across 95 games this year, Valbuena has hit just .199/.251/.335 with nine home runs and 33 RBI.
Valbuena could regain regular playing time following Ian Kinsler's trade to the Red Sox on Monday, Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports.
David Fletcher -- who overtook Valbuena at third base -- figures to fill in for Kinsler at the keystone, opening up a path to regular playing time for Valbuena at the hot corner. The Angels could call up another infielder to compete for playing time prior to Tuesday's contest against the Rays, but the slugging infielder figures to be the main beneficiary at this point. Valbuena has struggled to the tune of a .202/.254/.340 slash line this season, but he possesses just enough pop (31 homers in 684 plate appearances over the last two years) to draw deep-league interest if he starts against righties.
Valbuena was not in the starting lineup for the third consecutive game, going 0-for-1 off the bench in Saturday's win over Seattle.
With Shohei Ohtani and Albert Pujols returning from their respective stints on the disabled list over the last week, the Angels had to make a decision regarding who their starting third baseman would be between Valbuena and rookie David Fletcher. The latter appears to have won the position battle after starting all of the Halos' previous three contests at the hot corner, two of which have come against right-handed starters. Valbuena and his .203/.255/.341 slash line will be relegated to the bench, eliminating whatever fantasy value he had in a semi-regular role.
Valbuena went 1-for-2 with a double, two RBI, two walks, a strikeout and a stolen base in Wednesday's win over the White Sox.
The stolen base was his third of the season, already setting a new career-high mark in that department. The 32-year-old has been mired in a lengthy slump, slashing just .163/.198/.314 in June followed by a .152/.263/.242 mark in July. He'll ride the pine against left-handed starters and if his struggles continue, he may start sitting against righties with more regularity as well.
Valbuena is not in the lineup against the White Sox on Monday, Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic reports.
Valbuena will take a seat after going 1-for-4 with one RBI and a run scored during Sunday's game versus Houston. In his place, David Fletcher will man third base and bat ninth.
Valbuena is out of the lineup against Houston on Friday.
Valbuena will take a seat with left-hander Dallas Keuchel on the mound for the Astros. In his place, David Fletcher will man third base and Jefry Marte will get the start at first.
Valbuena is out of Saturday's lineup against the Dodgers, Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic Los Angeles reports.
Valbuena will take a seat with Alex Wood toeing the rubber for the opposition. David Fletcher is slated to lead off and man the hot corner with Valbuena on the bench.
Valbuena is out of Thursday's lineup agains the Mariners.
Valbuena will ride the bench for the second straight game, as the Angels face left-hander James Paxton in the series finale. He's batting .235/.297/.382 against lefties this season, so David Fletcher is set to man third base.
Valbuena is out of Wednesday's lineup against Seattle, Jeff Fletcher of The Orange County Register reports.
Valbuena will take a seat as the Angels face left-hander Marco Gonzales. David Fletcher is slated to bat leadoff and man the hot corner with Valbuena on the bench.
Valbuena is out of the lineup Sunday against the Dodgers, Jeff Fletcher of The Orange County Register reports.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia will shield the lefty-hitting Valbuena from southpaw Alex Wood by giving David Fletcher a start at third base. The two infielders are likely to continue working in a platoon for the foreseeable future, with Valbuena handling the larger share of starts.
Valbuena started at third base and went 0-for-2 in Saturday's loss to the Dodgers.
Valbuena has now started two consecutive games against right-handed starters, putting him on the strong side of a platoon at the hot corner with David Fletcher. Both players were receiving semi-regular playing time at the tail end of June, but Shohei Ohtani's return from the disabled list forced a time share at third. Valbuena hasn't done much to inspire fantasy owners this season (.211/.256/.354), but he does offer a bit of pop (nine homers) in a pinch.
Valbuena went 2-for-4 with a double and a pair of RBI in Wednesday's 7-4 win over Seattle.
Valbuena returned to the lineup against the right-handed Mike Leake after getting the day off against a southpaw Tuesday. Shohei Ohtani's return from the disabled list creates a bit of a logjam at third base between Valbuena and rising rookie David Fletcher. Wednesday's starting lineup could have shed light on the situation, but manager Mike Scioscia kept the suspense going by giving Ian Kinsler the day off, starting Fletcher at the keystone and keeping both players in the lineup. The Angels are scheduled to face another lefty Thursday, so Friday will be the next opportunity to see whether Valbuena is on the strong side of a platoon, or if the right-handed Fletcher is emerging as the Angels' starter at the hot corner.
Valbuena is not in the lineup versus Seattle on Tuesday.
With left-hander Wade LeBlanc on the mound for the Mariners, Valbuena will head to the bench in favor of Albert Pujols. Since Shohei Ohtani was activated from the 10-day DL (elbow) prior to Tuesday's game, Valbuena may see less playing time moving forward, especially with David Fletcher settling in as the primary third baseman.
Valbuena is out of the lineup Sunday against the Orioles.
The season-ending shoulder injury Zack Cozart suffered earlier in June cleared the way for Valbuena to step in as the Angels' primary third baseman, but the 32-year-old has been unable to take advantage of the opportunity. He finished June with just 14 hits in 86 at-bats (.163 average), resulting in prospect David Fletcher poaching starts at the hot corner. Fletcher will draw his third straight start against a right-handed pitcher Sunday, while the slumping Valbuena is excluded from the lineup. If Fletcher plays well enough to cement himself as the everyday third baseman, Valbuena would still have a path to at-bats at first base, since the Angels would probably prefer to use Albert Pujols as their designated hitter as often as possible. Even so, Valbuena may have to settle for part-time duty until he puts together a few good games at the plate.
Valbuena is not in the starting lineup against Boston on Thursday.
Valbuena will take a seat with left-hander Brian Johnson toeing the rubber for the Red Sox. In his absence, David Fletcher will man third base while Albert Pujols starts at first.
Valbuena is not in the lineup Tuesday against the Red Sox.
Valbuena sits after going hitless in his last two games and hitting .154 over his last 11 (though he does have three home runs in that stretch). David Fletcher will start at third base in his place.
|Minor League Batting Stats|
|2013||AFX-Kane County Cougars||1||3||0||1||0||0||0||0||1||--||0||0||.333||.500||.333|
|2017||AFA-Inland Empire 66ers||6||23||5||8||3||0||0||6||1||4||0||0||.348||.375||.478|