The Reds placed Aroldis Chapman on the disabled list last week after the Cuban setup man opened the season with 20 walks in his first 13 innings and then began developing left shoulder inflammation.
He’s already ready to begin pitching again.
According to beat writer Mark Sheldon of MLB.com, Chapman has been sent to Triple-A Louisville and will begin a minor league rehab assignment Monday night against the Orioles’ Triple-A affiliate in Norfolk, Virginia. The southpaw played a game of long toss in front of Reds pitching coach Bryan Price on Sunday and checked out fine.
The Reds are hoping that Chapman will regain his confidence and command against a lower level of competition. He’s expected to make at least three appearances with Louisville before returning to the majors.
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.