According to Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Matt Holliday is targeting a Thursday return from the 15-day disabled list.
The left fielder has been out since June 1 with tightness in his left quadriceps muscle. He took batting practice and went through a strenuous workout before Saturday’s game at Miller Park in Milwaukee and told reporters that he had been running for several days at home in St. Louis before joining the team for the weekend.
Holliday, 31, left behind a shiny .342/.433/.542 batting line, six home runs and 33 RBI. He’s been a force at cleanup when healthy, and the Cardinals will hope that he picks it all back up.
Allen Craig was placed on the 15-day disabled list Sunday with a bruised knee and outfielder Andrew Brown was recalled from Triple-A Memphis. Brown will likely head back down Thursday to make room for Holliday.
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.