For the past few months the Pirates have tried unsuccessfully to trade Ryan Doumit and his $5.1 million contract for 2011, but now the catcher/outfielder is sidelined by an oblique injury.
Doumit was scratched from yesterday’s game after feeling soreness while taking batting practice and there’s no timetable yet for his return, with Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com correctly noting that “oblique injuries often have a tendency to linger.”
Several teams are in the market for catching help following early injuries, but Doumit’s name hasn’t really been linked to many trade rumors at any point and a typical recovery period for an oblique strain would all but rule out the Pirates being able to move him before Opening Day.
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.