A’s catcher John Jaso sat out the final two months of the 2013 regular season and the playoffs due to a severe concussion that he suffered in late July when he was struck in the mask on back-to-back nights with stray foul tips. He spoke to the Oakland media Saturday at the A’s annual FanFest and expressed excitement about his return to full health.
Via Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle:
“Brain stuff?” the A’s catcher said when asked about his health before the A’s FanFest on Saturday. “Yeah, it’s all good up there.”
Jaso was cleared to resume baseball-related activities six weeks ago by a concussion specialist and will have no limitations in camp this spring. He’s expected to serve as Oakland’s primary DH in 2014, with Derek Norris in line for the bulk of playing time at backstop. Jaso, 30, owns a cool .364 career on-base percentage.
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.