Ryan Zimmerman suffered an abdominal strain while sliding into second base Saturday and finished the game, but he sat out yesterday’s win over the Mets and now Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports that he’ll be placed on the disabled list tomorrow following the Nationals’ off day.
Zimmerman missed part of spring training with a groin injury, but has hit .357 with a 1.022 OPS through nine games. Alex Cora replaced him in the lineup Sunday and appears likely to get most of the playing time at third base in his absence, which is a pretty big indictment of the Nationals’ depth.
Cora is 35 years old and has hit .233 with a .299 on-base percentage and .295 slugging percentage in 153 games since the beginning of 2009. Jerry Hairston Jr. is another option and left fielder Mike Morse played quite a bit of third base in the minors.
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.