Just three days after returning from a right thumb injury, Ryan Braun has been placed on the bereavement list due to a family medical issue. The Brewers will announce a corresponding move after tonight’s game against the Diamondbacks, so they’ll play short-handed in the interim.
Braun is permitted to be on bereavement leave for a minimum of three days and a maximum of seven. The Brewers have four games left before the All-Star break, which means he’ll be eligible to return on Sunday. However, it’s not clear if he’ll be ready to return by then.
Braun was activated from the disabled list Monday and went 1-for-3 in his return to action on Tuesday before sitting out yesterday. The 29-year-old outfielder is batting .304/.380/.507 with nine home runs and 36 RBI in 58 games this season.
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.