Chris Carpenter will start Game 1 of the World Series for the Cardinals and publicly at least various members of the team downplayed talk of his elbow being an issue, but Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that “Carpenter suffered inflammation and swelling of the elbow” following his start against the Brewers last Wednesday.
According to Strauss he “required lengthy daily treatments” leading up to a potential Game 7 start in the NLCS and any notion of Carpenter starting on short rest for a second time this postseason has been ruled out.
In fact, his Game 1 start will come on six days’ rest following an abbreviated 89-pitch outing, so if ever Carpenter was going to be at full strength this would be the time.
Strauss hints that the Cardinals were somewhat worried about Carpenter’s status for a potential Game 7 against Milwaukee, so he needs all the extra time off he can get.
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.