Josh Hamilton moved gingerly as he got to second base on last night’s extra-inning double and afterward the reigning MVP admitted that he’s been playing through a groin injury “for a while.”
“My groin is sore,” Hamilton told Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas. “A lot of guys are hurting right now. That’s part of it this time of year. I’m fine. It just hurts a little more when I have to run hard.”
Hamilton has yet to make a big impact in the postseason, but made it clear that he has no plans to miss any time and has hit reasonably well so far, going 9-for-33 (.273) with four doubles in eight games.
And he’s started each of the four ALCS games in center field, so manager Ron Washington is obviously convinced the groin injury and pain that comes with running hard aren’t enough to make him a poor option there defensively.
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.