Carl Crawford appeared in only 31 games in 2012 and battled elbow inflammation this spring, so the Dodgers are treating him with extra care early on.
According to beat writer Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, the outfielder is on the bench for the Dodgers’ second regular-season game Tuesday night against the rival Giants. Jerry Hairston Jr. will start in left field and bat out of the leadoff spot vs. San Francisco left-hander Madison Bumgarner.
Crawford went 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored in the Dodgers’ season-opening victory Monday over the Giants. But right-hander Matt Cain started that game. Crawford owns an .811 career OPS against righties and a .688 career OPS against southpaws.
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.