Kerry Wood expected to rejoin the Indians on Friday

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Kerry Wood threw a scoreless minor league rehab inning on Thursday evening at Double-A Akron and is likely to rejoin the Indians before Friday’s game against the Blue Jays in Toronto.  This according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Paul Hoynes

Wood has been on the disabled list since the middle of July with a blister on his right index finger.  He had a 6.30 ERA, a 1.60 WHIP and an 18/11 K/BB ratio in 20 innings before the disabling, but the Indians are going to hand him ninth-inning duties once he returns to justify the nearly $4.5 million that he’s still owed this season. 

Chris Perez has served as Cleveland’s closer in Wood’s absence and has been fantastic.  The 25-year-old hasn’t allowed a run since June 27 and has converted his last five save opportunities.  Wood, meanwhile, has blown three saves in 11 chances this season.  But, hey, money talks.

Video: Jake Arrieta hits a 465-foot home run off of Zack Greinke

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Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.

The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.

Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.

Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.

Luis Valbuena to miss four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring

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Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.

Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.

Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.