From Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News:
Texas Rangers right-hander Yu Darvish passed the final tests on Sunday and will return to the rotation for this week’s series against Tampa Bay.
Darvish threw 40 pitches in the bullpen and went through a series of agility drills without difficulty.
The 26-year-old native of Japan was scratched from his turn in the rotation last Thursday against the Twins because of tightness in his right quad. But he didn’t have a strain of any kind and is over the soreness.
Darvish has registered a 4.51 ERA, 1.42 WHIP and 172/80 K/BB ratio in 147 2/3 innings this season for Texas. He was acquired this winter from the Nippon Ham Figthers for a total commitment of over $110 million.
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.