Injuries continue to pile up for the Phillies, as Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports that center fielder Shane Victorino has left the team in Florida and traveled back to Philadelphia to have his thumb examined by a hand specialist.
Victorino injured his thumb Sunday and missed yesterday’s game while wearing a protective sleeve, with Michael Martinez filling in for him in a 1-0 victory.
Zolecki writes that the current plan is for Victorino to rejoin the Phillies in time for tomorrow night’s game in Florida, but obviously that will depend on what the specialist determines today and in the meantime they’ve added John Mayberry Jr. to the roster as an extra outfielder.
Philadelphia’s disabled list is already packed with pitchers Ryan Madson, Jose Contreras, Brad Lidge, Joe Blanton, and Roy Oswalt, plus third baseman Placido Polanco has been struggling to play through back problems for two months now, but losing Victorino would really hurt. He leads the team in batting average (.303), on-base percentage (.376), slugging percentage (.524), OPS (.900), and runs (53) in addition to his usual defensive value in what has been the best season of his career so far.
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.