The Mets won’t have Justin Turner for their opener.
According to ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin, the infielder was diagnosed with a left calf strain after making an early exit from Wednesday evening’s Grapefruit League game against the Astros.
Calf strains usually come with varying recovery timetables, but it’s a near-certainty that he will miss the first couple weeks of the 2013 regular season.
Turner, 28, batted .269/.319/.392 in 94 games last summer for the Mets. He is expected to serve as the primary backup this year to second baseman Daniel Murphy, who is on his way back from an intercostal strain. Turner will also serve as a backup at third base to David Wright, who has an intercostal injury of his own. The Mets are limping their way to Opening Day.
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.