Jed Lowrie was placed on the disabled list this weekend because of a sprained right ankle. That should heal within the next 15 days, but the 28-year-old shortstop has another injury that will not.
According to beat writer Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle, Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow announced Tuesday evening that Lowrie has been diagnosed with a nerve issue in his right leg. He’ll be in a boot for a week and won’t return to Houston’s starting lineup for at least a month.
Lowrie has posted a respectable .253/.343/.456 batting line with 14 home runs and 36 RBI in 80 games played this season. The Astros entered play Tuesday evening with a 34-56 record, ranking dead-last in the six-team National League Central.
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.