Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York reports that right-hander Phil Hughes tested “negative for all vascular and circulatory conditions,” which eliminates the possibility of thoracic outlet syndrome.
This is really a good news, bad news situation. It’s good in that the Yankees have eliminated one potentially serious possibility, but they’re still searching for answers regarding Hughes’ “dead arm” and diminished velocity.
Hughes posted a 13.94 ERA over his first three starts before being placed on the disabled list on April 15. He averaged just 89.2 mph on his fastball compared to 92.6 mph last season. Hughes attempted to throw last Monday, but was sent for testing after the session did not go well. The mystery continues.
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.