Barry Zito threw off flat ground yesterday and is expected to make his scheduled start Sunday against the Dodgers, according to Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News.
Zito was involved in a two-car accident Wednesday night while driving his rented Cadillac in Los Angeles. While he walked away with a stiff neck, he said yesterday that things could have been a lot worse if his instincts didn’t take over.
“If I didn’t make a decision to hit the gas when I saw him, he would’ve hit the front of the car. Then it’d be a whole different story. “… It’s a scary sound, you know? Just to hear metal on metal crunching.
“Overall, I feel a whole lot better today than yesterday. I expect it to feel even better tomorrow.”
Zito underwent an MRI on Thursday morning which thankfully came back normal. While he continues to receive treatment, he was able to throw all of his pitches out of his windup yesterday. He looks like a go for Sunday.
Zito, 32, posted a 4.15 ERA over 199 1/3 innings last season. He is still owed $65 million through the 2013 season.
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.