Giants manager Bruce Bochy provided an update Sunday on the status of third baseman Pablo Sandoval, who was placed on the disabled list in late April with a fractured hamate bone.
According to Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News, Sandoval will take batting practice with his Giants teammates when the club arrives in St. Louis on Monday and could begin a minor league rehab assignment soon after if all goes smoothly.
Bochy told Baggarly that Sandoval will be asked to take around 20 at-bats in the minor leagues before the Giants consider activating him.
Sandoval was batting a healthy .313/.374/.530 with 14 RBI through his first 91 late appearances this season. He hasn’t played in close to a month but remains the Giants’ co-leader in home runs with five.
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.