Mets GM Sandy Alderson told reporters on Saturday that Johan Santana probably wouldn’t be ready to throw off a mound for another “10 days or so.”
But that estimate was about nine days off.
ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin reports that Santana made light tosses from a mound on Sunday morning in Mets camp. He clearly wasn’t throwing his hardest and the catcher receiving those throws squatted a few feet in front of home plate. But it has to be considered some sort of progress for the lefty.
Santana intentionally scheduled a light offseason workload and has been playing catch-up for the past few weeks in Port St. Lucie, Florida. Jonathan Niese may have to start on Opening Day in his place.
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.