Scott Kazmir, who was banished to the disabled list on April 9 with what the Angels called lower back tightness, struggled mightily in his return to the mound Tuesday, giving up six runs in 1 2/3 innings for Triple-A Salt Lake.
He walked four and hit a batter before being pulled.
The Angels went as slowly as they could with Kazmir after he was roughed up all spring and then tagged for five runs in 1 2/3 innings in his one major league start on April 3. He spent over a month pitching regularly in extended spring games before the Angels put him back in a real game today. The result, though, was disastrous.
Since they have nothing to lose now, the Angels will probably keep Kazmir on a minor league rehab assignment for the next 29 days. Once his month is up, they can either activate him from the DL or release him and eat the remainder of his $12 million salary for this year. Looking at his performance today, it’d be something of an upset if he ever dons the team’s uniform again.
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.