Nick Markakis made his spring training debut today after having abdominal surgery in January, going 0-for-2 with a walk as the Orioles’ designated hitter.
Afterward he told Eduardo Encina of the Baltimore Sun that “it was fine” and “I was just happy to get out there and get some at bats and start this thing off right and get it going in the right direction.”
He’s scheduled to play the outfield for the first time on Tuesday, so it’s tough to get a good feel for his status until then considering Markakis didn’t have to move around much today.
For now he’s slightly ahead of the initial recovery timetable and, barring setbacks, should have time to be ready for Opening Day.
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.