Scott Feldman has become sort of a forgotten man in Texas and missing part of the regular season and the Rangers’ entire playoff run with a knee injury and beginning this year on the disabled list.
However, he was their Opening Day starter last season after going 17-8 with a 4.08 ERA in 2009 and T.R. Sullivan reports that Feldman threw four scoreless innings in an extended spring training game yesterday and “could be getting close” to a minor-league rehab assignment.
Feldman didn’t pitch nearly as well as his 17 wins in 2009 would suggest, but he’s a 28-year-old pitcher with a 4.73 ERA in 78 career starts and the Rangers could definitely use another mid-rotation starter to eat some innings. Not to mention the fact that they’re paying him $4.4 million this season and owe Feldman another $6.5 million in 2012.
Brandon Webb is nowhere near joining the Rangers’ rotation, but Feldman, Neftali Feliz, and Tommy Hunter are all on the comeback trail.
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.