Atlanta acquiring Paul Maholm last night makes even more sense with news that Tommy Hanson is headed to the disabled list with a back injury.
Hanson has officially been diagnosed with a strained lower back and revealed that he’s been pitching through the injury since the All-Star break, which explains his 7.45 ERA in four second-half starts.
Maholm will take Hanson’s rotation spot this weekend and Kris Medlen may get a chance to make multiple starts instead of being one-and-done as a spot starter.
Overall this season Hanson has a career-high 4.29 ERA in 22 starts with career-worst marks in homers, walks, and strikeout-to-walk ratio.
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.