UPDATE: Uh-oh. According to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, Stanton left the game with right knee discomfort.
5:28 PM: This doesn’t sound promising.
After appearing as a pinch-hitter last night, Giancarlo Stanton was back in the Marlins’ starting lineup this afternoon for the first time since Monday. But his return didn’t last long. He had a single in his only at-bat and played right field for two innings before Scott Cousins pinch-hit for him in the third.
The Marlins have yet to make an announcement on the reason for his exit, but Stanton is currently dealing with a “loose body” in his right knee and it’s believed he’ll eventually require surgery. A setback could put him at risk for missing the upcoming Home Run Derby and All-Star Game and perhaps the start of the second half.
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.