Ryan Dempster has been out since June 16 with a strained right shoulder and won’t be ready to return from the disabled list when eligible Sunday, according to Doug Padilla of ESPN Chicago.
Padilla reports that Dempster “will miss at least one more start” and because he’s yet to throw off a mound it wouldn’t be surprising if he didn’t return before the All-Star break.
Missing an extra turn or two in the rotation isn’t a huge deal, except in Dempster’s case he’s very likely to be traded … as long as teams are convinced he’s healthy. And if he sits out an extra week or two that might only leave 3-4 starts to prove he’s back to normal before the July 31 trade deadline.
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.