From Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle comes word that A’s left-hander Brett Anderson made it through a 45-pitch simulated game on Monday without feeling any lingering discomfort in his elbow and has been cleared to begin a rehab assignment Saturday night at High-A Stockton.
Anderson underwent Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery a little over one year ago. He’s likely to make between four and five rehab appearances before returning to Oakland’s starting rotation.
The 24-year-old has a 3.66 career ERA and 1.27 career WHIP in 62 major league outings, spanning 371 total innings. He is under contractual control with the Athletics through the 2015 season.
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.