Eduardo Sanchez has been fantastic for the Cardinals, quickly ascending to a prominent bullpen role by throwing 29 innings with a 1.88 ERA and 33 strikeouts, but now the 22-year-old’s rookie campaign is on hold thanks to a shoulder injury.
Sanchez left the team and traveled back to St. Louis for an MRI exam yesterday that revealed no structural damage, but the Cardinals placed him on the disabled list anyway and general manager John Mozeliak told Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch that returning in 15 days is no sure thing.
Strauss writes that Mitchell Boggs, who just a couple weeks ago was demoted to the minors for the stated purpose of getting work as a starter, will be elevated into a higher-leverage bullpen role in Sanchez’s absence.
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.