Shane Victorino has been activated from the disabled list after missing two weeks with a sprained right thumb.
Victorino went 5-for-15 (.333) with a homer during a brief rehab assignment and will be in the starting lineup tonight against the Cubs, with Pete Orr heading back to Triple-A to make room for him on the roster.
Prior to the injury Victorino was having the best season of his career, leading the Phillies in batting average (.303), on-base percentage (.376), slugging percentage (.524), and OPS (.900) while stealing 13 bases in 15 attempts and scoring 53 runs in 68 games.
Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports that Victorino will wear a protective brace on his thumb when on base to guard against aggravating the injury and may also try to avoid head-first slides. Philadelphia went 6-4 in his absence, with John Mayberry Jr. doing most of the fill-in work.
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.