John Danks has progressed enough in his recovery from August shoulder surgery that the White Sox left-hander is scheduled to make his first minor-league rehab start Thursday at Double-A.
Scott Merkin of MLB.com reports that the White Sox don’t have a set plan yet for how many rehab starts Danks will be asked to make. Danks told Merkin that he expects it to be at least 2-3 starts, but Gavin Floyd’s injury could hasten the timetable a bit if things go well early on.
Danks signed a five-year, $65 million contract extension in December of 2011, but was limited to just nine ineffective starts last season before being shut down.
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.