Brian Roberts hasn’t appeared in a major league game since last May 16. But that may soon change.
According to MLB.com’s Britt Ghiroli, Roberts is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment Wednesday evening with the Double-A Bowie Baysox.
The Orioles want to let the veteran second baseman get through a week or two of games before beginning to talk about a return date for fear that he might suffer yet another setback in his year-long battle with post-concussion syndrome. But he’s currently on track for a mid-to-late June activation.
Roberts, 34, owns a .281/.353/.416 career batting line. He could certainly be of help to the first-place O’s.
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.