Jesse Crain was activated from the disabled list this week after missing three months with a shoulder strain, but he has yet to appear in a game. And it’s now possible that he’ll never throw a pitch for the Rays.
Rays manager Joe Maddon told Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune that Crain didn’t feel right throwing Tuesday after he warmed up during Monday’s game. As a result, his availability for the rest of the season and the playoffs is in question.
Crain had a dominant 0.74 ERA and 46/11 K/BB ratio over 36 2/3 innings with the White Sox prior to landing on the disabled list. The Rays acquired the veteran reliever at the trade deadline in hopes that he would be able to contribute down the stretch, but progress has been hard to come by.
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.