Felipe Paulino’s emergence atop the Royals’ rotation was halted by a groin injury, but Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star reports that the right-hander is slated to come off the disabled list on June 25.
Paulino was fantastic before the injury, starting seven games with a 1.67 ERA, and since the Royals picked him up from the Rockies last season he’s logged 162 innings with a 3.55 ERA and 158/63 K/BB ratio. Toss in his excellent fastball velocity and a track record full of impressive strikeout rates and the Royals may have found a diamond in the rough, assuming he can stay healthy.
Before rejoining the rotation next week he’ll have to avoid a setback while making a minor-league rehab start Wednesday at Double-A.
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.