Two weeks ago the Tigers announced that Joel Zumaya was opting for rehab rather than surgery, but unfortunately those plans have changed.
Jason Beck of MLB.com reports that Zumaya will undergo “exploratory” elbow surgery next week and while there won’t be a timetable for his recovery until after he’s under the knife the assumption is that he’ll miss the entire season.
Zumaya has amazingly maintained his triple-digit fastball throughout a litany of elbow and shoulder injuries, but you have to wonder how many more times he can come back from a lengthy rehab throwing gas. He had a 1.94 ERA in 82 innings as a rookie in 2006, but in the five seasons since then he’s logged a total of just 126 innings and Zumaya hasn’t taken the mound since gruesomely fracturing his elbow last June 28.
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.