Francisco Liriano’s no-hitter snapped Minnesota’s losing streak last night, but it didn’t put a stop to the Twins’ never-ending string of injuries.
Jim Thome has been placed on the disabled list with a strained oblique muscle and backup outfielder Jason Repko joins him on the shelf with a sore quadriceps. To replace them on the roster the Twins called up infielder Trevor Plouffe and outfielder Ben Revere from Triple-A.
Revere joins an outfield mix that includes Denard Span, Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel, and Rene Tosoni, who got the call-up over Revere when Delmon Young was placed on the DL last week.
Plouffe is a lesser prospect than Revere, but his short-term role may prove more substantial because the Twins are finally running out of patience with enigmatic infielder Alexi Casilla, who for now has been moved to second base after struggling mightily as the starting shortstop.
Thome going to the DL takes a big bat out of an already struggling lineup, but he’s been limited by the oblique soreness since last week and there’s no sense in risking further injury with a 40-year-old DH.
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.