Michael Bourn landed on the disabled list last week after he had his right hand stepped on by White Sox reliever Matt Thornton during a head-first slide into first base and required five stitches in his index finger, but he’s getting closer to rejoining the Indians’ lineup.
Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports that Bourn is scheduled to have the stitches removed from his finger on Thursday. Assuming the wound doesn’t impact his ability to throw or grip a bat, he could be ready to return right around when he’s first eligible on April 30.
Bourn, who joined Cleveland on a four-year, $48 million deal in February, was hitting .333 (15-for-45) with seven extra-base hits (two home runs) and a stolen base prior to the injury. Drew Stubbs has been playing center field during his absence.
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.