Via Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Top prospect Oscar Taveras returned to the Class AAA Memphis lineup Saturday after being sidelined for nearly a month with a lingering ankle injury.
Taveras, who started in center field, injured his ankle on May 12 and though the team expected a quick return the pain in his ankle persisted until it was re-diagnosed as a high ankle sprain.
Taveras finished 1-for-4 (that one hit was a double) and is now batting .315/.348/.480 with four home runs, nine doubles, five steals and 20 RBI in 32 total games this season for the Memphis Redbirds. He boasts a .385/.424/.590 batting line against right-handed pitchers.
The talented 20-year-old outfielder should climb his way to the major leagues at some point this summer.
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.