Ryan Zimmerman will begin a brief minor-league rehab assignment tonight at Single-A, according to Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com.
Barring a setback with his hamstring injury Zimmerman is expected to play two games at Single-A, take a day off, and then come off the disabled list to rejoin the Nationals’ lineup Friday.
Zimmerman hit .226 with one homer and a .670 OPS in 15 games before straining his hamstring on April 17. Initially the Nationals turned to rookie call-up Anthony Rendon as his replacement at third base, but lately manager Davey Johnson has also been using Stephen Lombardozzi and Chad Tracy.
Rendon figures to head back to the minors once Zimmerman is healthy.
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.