White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko sat out on both Friday and Saturday after undergoing a minor surgical procedure late last week to remove a loose bone fragment from his left wrist.
He’s back in the lineup Sunday, according to MLB.com’s Scott Merkin, batting cleanup and playing first base vs. the Tigers’ Brad Penny.
Konerko, who turned 35 in March, has posted an impressive .310/.381/.516 batting line this season with 12 home runs, 20 total extra-base hits and 44 RBI through his first 247 plate appearances.
The White Sox enter Sunday’s action with a third place standing in the American League Central, seven games behind the first-place Indians and three-and-a-half games behind second-place Detroit.
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.