In the past Roy Halladay and the Phillies have downplayed his low velocity readings in spring training starts, but after today’s ugly outing in which he threw in the mid-80s and got knocked around manager Charlie Manuel and pitching coach Rich Dubee were a little more open about things.
David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News noted that “you could see the concern on Manuel’s face” as he said:
Yeah, it concerns me. But at the same time, I been in the game long enough to know that if there’s nothing wrong with him, you keep working with him. If he’s healthy and well and there’s nothing wrong with him, then he’s gotta get stretched out and everything.
Halladay has said he’s healthy, but described himself as “lethargic” after throwing too many pitches in bullpen sessions before today’s start.
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.