Paul Konerko is on the seven-day concussion disabled list after taking a Jarrod Dyson elbow to the head on August 7, but the White Sox slugger is expected to be back in the lineup tomorrow night.
Konerko reported no problems while taking batting practice and playing catch Wednesday, and manager Robin Ventura indicated that he’ll serve as Chicago’s designated hitter versus the Royals (and Dyson).
If he’s able to return Friday that would mean Konerko will have missed seven games. Earlier this season Konerko also had a bone chip removed from his wrist and was hit in the face by a pitch, but in between injuries the 36-year-old has hit .316 with 18 homers and an .892 OPS in 101 games.
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.