Armando Galarraga has struggled since forever being linked with umpire Jim Joyce during his “imperfect game” on June 2, 2010, spending most of last season and all of this season at Triple-A.
But now he’s headed back to the big leagues, as the Astros announced that they’ll call up Galarraga to start Saturday against the Pirates. He’s stepping into Wandy Rodriguez’s rotation spot and in an odd little twist of fate he’ll be facing Rodriguez, in Houston.
Galarraga last started in the majors for the Diamondbacks on May 16, 2011 and had a 4.12 ERA and 31/18 K/BB ratio in 44 innings at Triple-A before the call-up, so this is more about the Astros’ lack of MLB-caliber pitching depth than any kind of promising comeback story.
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.