Johan Santana thinks there’s no reason for concern after he gave up five runs — four earned — in 2 2/3 innings Friday in a loss to the Tigers.
ESPN’s Adam Rubin has the quotes:
I was able to throw some fastballs with more intensity this time. And I’m feeling good. It’s a process. And I’m building up.
I feel fine. It was a tough day. It was a challenge out there. These guys were swinging. I tried to locate some pitches that I wasn’t able to. But that’s what we’re here for. … I wasn’t consistent throwing my fastball for strikes. That’s something you work on.
Santana, who is coming off shoulder surgery, showed his best velocity of the spring, hitting 90 and 91 mph on the gun more frequently than he had in his previous two starts. That didn’t lead to any strikeouts today, but it’s still a good sign. He’s still penciled in 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.