Minor scare for the Mets this afternoon. As noted by Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, Matt Harvey was forced to leave his start against the Marlins today after seven innings due to lower back tightness.
Harvey allowed one run on six hits and no walks before exiting. The young right-hander may have tweaked his back while running the bases after he reached on a single in the bottom of the seventh inning. He was pulled from the ballgame after going out to make his warm-up pitches before the eighth.
No word on whether Harvey will be able to make his next start, but the good news is that his early exit had nothing to to with his arm. Zack Wheeler could have his timeline moved up if the Mets decide to skip him.
Harvey, 24, has a 2.10 ERA across 13 starts this season. With six whiffs today, he now holds the National League lead with 95 strikeouts.
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.