The Mariners flirted with the idea of calling up top pitching prospect Michael Pineda multiple times this year to give him a taste of the major leagues in what has been a lost season in Seattle. They never pulled the trigger, though, and now it definitely won’t happen.
According to Larry Stone of the Seattle Times, the M’s decided Saturday to shut Pineda down for the rest of the season.
The 21-year-old began this year with Double-A West Tennessee and turned in a gorgeous 2.22 ERA and 1.09 WHIP over 13 starts. He was then promoted to Triple-A Tacoma, where he kept rolling to the tune of a 1.14 WHIP and 76/16 K/BB ratio over 62.1 frames.
The results have been fantastic at every level dating back to 2006 for Pineda but he’s thrown nearly 140 innings this year and registered only 47 total innings last season.
Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik made it a point to note Saturday that Pineda is going to be in the mix for a major league rotation spot in 2011.
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.
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.