Cardinals prospect Shelby Miller experienced some mild soreness in his right shoulder last week while trying to ramp up his spring throwing program.
But it’s apparently already a non-issue.
Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the righty is scheduled to make his Grapefruit League debut on Saturday against the Nationals. Adam Wainwright will start the game and then Miller will come in to pitch an inning or two.
Miller is in a stiff competition for the final spot in the Cardinals’ starting rotation with Trevor Rosenthal and Joe Kelly. The 22-year-old native of Houston, Texas registered a promising 1.32 ERA and struck out 16 batters over his first 13 2/3 major league innings last season. His upside is massive.
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.