The Angels’ outfield logjam is suddenly a lot less complicated.
Angels’ television broadcaster Victor Rojas reports that Vernon Wells will have surgery tomorrow to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right thumb. He can resume baseball activities in 8-10 weeks, which means he’ll likely be out until around the start of August.
Of course, this injury is no back-breaker for the Angels. Even as Torii Hunter remains away from the team following his son’s arrest in a sexual assault case, Angels manager Mike Scioscia can play Mike Trout, Peter Bourjos and Mark Trumbo in the outfield on most nights. Not bad. Not bad at all.
Wells, 33, is hitting .242/.282/.422 with six homers, 12 RBI and a .702 OPS over 142 plate appearances this season. He’s making $21 million per season through 2014.
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.