Erik Bedard’s return delayed, trade value damaged

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When the Mariners placed left-hander Erik Bedard on the 15-day disabled list near the end of June with a knee injury, they were optimistic that he would be able to return immediately following the All-Star break — in time to make two or three showcase starts before being shopped at the trade deadline.

As with most of Bedard’s injuries, it hasn’t gone nearly according to plan.

Gerry Spratt of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that the 32-year-old southpaw won’t return early next week against the Yankees, as previously hoped, and might only be able to make one appearance before the July 31 non-wavier deadline.

Bedard has been excellent this season, sporting a 3.00 ERA, 1.11 WHIP and 85/26 K/BB ratio through 90 innings of work, and his current injury (a sprained knee) has nothing to do with his old chronic shoulder issues. But the perception that he’s prone to major physical ailments has not been swept under the rug and it’s likely that his delayed return from the disabled list will hurt his trade value later this month.

Video: Jake Arrieta hits a 465-foot home run off of Zack Greinke

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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.

Luis Valbuena to miss four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring

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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.