With the Rangers the first team to advance past the first round manager Ron Washington announced that they’ll predictably line up C.J. Wilson to start Game 1 of the ALCS and will also keep Alexi Ogando in the bullpen.
Ogando spent nearly the entire season in the Rangers’ rotation, starting 29 games, but made three scoreless appearances setting up Neftali Feliz in the ALDS win over the Rays.
If the Rangers stick with their ALDS rotation Wilson will be followed by Derek Holland, Colby Lewis, and Matt Harrison, but no official announcement has been made beyond the Game 1 assignment and Washington’s preference may change depending on whether they’re facing the Yankees or Tigers.
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.