Pablo Sandoval has played in fewer than 120 games in each of the past two seasons. With today’s news, the Giants are hoping the trend does not continue in 2013. Andrew Baggarly reports Sandoval was scratched from the Giants’ lineup an hour before their Cactus League game against the Colorado Rockies:
Joaquin Arias replaced Sandoval in the lineup, batting sixth. Hunter Pence moved from fifth to third.
Sandoval did not appear to have any trouble making several strong throws across the diamond on Saturday; he also played catch Sunday with no apparent problems.
Sandoval earned World Series MVP honors last year, helping lead his Giants to their second championship in three years. In a clean sweep of the Detroit Tigers, Sandoval hit .500 with three home runs. When healthy, he is one of the best-hitting third basemen in baseball.
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.