Another day, another Cardinals injury.
As first reported by Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, third baseman David Freese is not in the starting lineup Monday afternoon against the Braves due to discomfort in his right hand and wrist.
Freese suffered bruising and a mild sprain Saturday while diving for balls along the third base line. He was able to play Sunday but struck out twice and walked once in three plate appearances against the Phillies.
Daniel Descalso is handling third base in his absence on Monday. The hope is that Freese, who has an .835 OPS, 10 home runs and 33 RBI in 44 games this year, will be ready to rock after a day or two of rest.
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.