According to Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, David Freese was scratched from today’s lineup against the Cubs due to irritation of a finger on his right hand.
The full extent of the injury isn’t yet known, but Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that it happened during an at-bat in yesterday’s game. It comes at a tough time for Freese, who is batting .404/.424/.688 with three homers and 11 RBI over his first 33 plate appearances this season.
Freese appears poised for a breakout following his World Series MVP performance, but injuries have been a constant theme during his career. The 28-year-old was limited to just 17 games at the big league level in 2009 due to a left ankle injury which required surgery. He played 70 games with the Cardinals in 2010 before requiring season-ending surgery on his right ankle. And he missed nearly two months last year while recovering from a fractured left hand.
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.