After a brief minor-league rehab assignment for a strained oblique muscle David Robertson is ready to return from the disabled list.
Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York reports that Robertson will join the Yankees in Atlanta tonight and then be activated from the DL in time to be available for Friday’s game against the Nationals.
In his absence Rafael Soriano established himself as the Yankees’ new closer, leaving Robertson to his usual setup man duties after initially getting the nod as Mariano Rivera’s fill-in.
Robertson threw a pair of scoreless innings on his rehab stint at Triple-A, allowing zero baserunners and striking out one batter in each outing. He last pitched for the Yankees on May 11.
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.