We heard yesterday that Mark Teixeira tested his left calf by taking some at-bats and playing an inning in a simulated game. He won’t be able to help the Yankees this weekend in Toronto, but his return isn’t far off.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi told Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York that Teixeira took six at-bats of live batting practice today and is expected to play in an instructional league game tomorrow. Barring any setbacks, he is expected to rejoin the Yankees when they begin the final series of the season Monday against the Red Sox.
“Everything looks pretty good right now,” Joe Girardi said. “He ran better today, said he felt better today. He took a ton of ground balls and he’s going to play in a game tomorrow. Then we’ll go from there. He’s passed every test he was supposed to up to this point. He’s on schedule for what was scheduled, so that’s a good thing.”
Teixeira has appeared in just one game since originally injuring the calf on August 27. While he may not be 100 percent the rest of the way, he could provide a nice boost next week as the Yankees try to hold off the Orioles in the American League East.
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.