Jason Castro was shut down earlier this week due to right knee discomfort and now Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports that he underwent a minor procedure today to have a cyst removed.
Castro fouled a ball off his knee on September 2 and had the cyst drained one day later, but he only appeared in two more games as a DH before being shut down. While his right knee has been a problem in the past, costing him the entire 2011 season, he is expected to be 100 percent for 2014.
Castro was a big bright spot for the rebuilding Astros this season, batting .276/.350/.485 with 18 home runs and 56 RBI. Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow still has a lot of holes to fill before the team becomes a contender, but catcher shouldn’t be one of them.
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.