Chipper Jones homered in his return from knee surgery Tuesday and then notched two hits Wednesday, but now the Braves third baseman is a late scratch from today’s lineup.
David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that Jones was removed from the lineup “due to swelling/fluid in his left knee.”
It’s a shame that Jones’ knee is letting him down in the future Hall of Famer’s final season, because he can still hit at age 40 and has yet to post an OPS below .800 in 18 seasons.
For now the Braves are saying Jones will get his knee drained and might be back in the lineup as soon as tomorrow.
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.