Yadier Molina and Mitchell Boggs got crossed up a pitch last night, with the reliever throwing a fastball when the catcher was expecting a slider.
The end result was Molina taking a mid-90s fastball off his hand, which caused the always tough catcher to leave the game, but according to manager Mike Matheny an X-ray taken immediately afterward came back “clean.”
Matheny told Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch that Molina will probably be examined further, but the fact that the Cardinals don’t plan to add another catcher to the roster along with little-used backup Tony Cruz is a good sign for now.
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.