Chris Young opted out of his minor-league contract with the Nationals and was released last week, but now he’s back with Washington on another minor-league deal.
At the time the assumption was that Young could find a better opportunity elsewhere considering the strength of the Nationals’ rotation, but apparently not. He’ll report to Triple-A and wait for an injury to one of the established starters.
Young’s velocity was low during spring training, even for him, but it’s still surprising that no teams wanted to grab him as a short-term fifth starter considering the 34-year-old right-hander had a 4.15 ERA and 80/36 K/BB ratio in 115 innings for the Mets last season.
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.