Not much has been going right for the Mets this season. They’re stuck in the bottom of the National League East standings and most experts have already written them off for the postseason.
Chris Young has been a bright spot. Signed to a bargain one-year, $1.1 million contract this winter, he posted a 1.46 ERA and 12/6 K/BB ratio over his first two regular season starts and has now made a quick recovery from a mild case of biceps tendinitis.
According to ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin, Young threw a successful three-inning simulated game on Thursday afternoon at Citi Field and is pushing to return to the Mets’ rotation on Tuesday night against the Nationals. He will toss a final bullpen session Saturday to prove his readiness.
“I think so,” Young said when asked about skipping a minor league rehab assignment. “I haven’t missed too much. I think if it were prolonged, I’d probably need a rehab start. But at this point I still feel comfortable picking up hopefully where I left off.”
Dillon Gee, 24, has been filling in for Young. He limited the Braves to one earned run over five-plus innings on Sunday but will likely head back to the Triple-A level once Young is deemed fit to return.
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.