Astros left-hander Wandy Rodriguez has been scratched from his scheduled Tuesday start and is going to be sidelined for the next week or so due to tendinitis in his throwing shoulder. This according to Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle, who began his story on the matter with a great sentence:
The closest thing to a sure thing on a team with no sure things just became a lot less of a sure thing.
That just about sums it up. Rodriguez posted a sparkling 3.60 ERA and 1.29 WHIP across 32 starts last season for fourth-place Houston, striking out 178 batters in 195 innings and walking only 68.
The Astros inked the 32-year-old southpaw to a three-year, $34 million contract extension this winter and will have to hope that he can get his shoulder back to 100 percent by Opening Day. The ‘Stros open their regular season schedule on April 1 with a three-game series against the Phillies.
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.