Mark Teixeira hasn’t played since aggravating his left calf strain on September 8, but he’s inching closer to rejoining the Yankees lineup.
According to Meredith Marakovits of YES Network, Teixeira tested his calf today by playing in a simulated game in Tampa, Florida. He took seven at-bats and also played an inning in the field. Depending on how he feels, the plan calls for him to play in another simulated game tomorrow or Saturday.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said during a radio appearance last week that he was hoping Teixeira would be able to return this weekend against the Blue Jays, but getting him back by the end of the regular season or the start of the postseason is probably more realistic at this point.
Teixeira, 32, is batting .255/.336/.478 with 23 home runs, 81 RBI and an .814 OPS in 120 games played this season.
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.