Braves outfielder Jason Heyward has left today’s Braves-Mets game in the top of the sixth after being hit in the head with a Jon Niese fastball. Heyward stayed on the ground for a good while after being hit and then left the game. He appeared groggy, but there were no apparent external injuries, lacerations or the like. Obviously a concussion is a major concern.
There was no purpose behind Jon Neise’s pitch. Neither the game situation nor any past history suggests an intent. It appeared to be a fastball that simply got away from him. Niese himself appeared to be off his game for the next couple of batters, allowing a couple of hits including an RBI. He then bore down and struck out Chris Johnson.
We’ll have an updates on Heyward’s status when we get one.
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.