Indians top prospect Francisco Lindor played in Sunday’s Futures Game at New York’s Citi Field, then returned home to pack his bags for Double-A Akron, where he will debut on Tuesday night after spending the first three-plus months of the 2013 regular season with the High-A Carolina Mudcats.
“My focus right now is playing Double-A baseball every day,” Lindor told reporters in Akron on Tuesday afternoon. “Yeah, I see (Cleveland) in the future, but I’m focusing on playing today and winning today.”
The 19-year-old shortstop was batting .306/.373/.410 with 20 stolen bases and 51 runs scored in 83 games this season for Carolina. He was ranked fifth overall on Baseball America‘s midsummer Top 50.
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.