Bad news for the Dodgers today, as J.P. Hoornstra of the Los Angeles News Group reports that prospect right-hander Ross Stripling will undergo season-ending Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery tomorrow.
Stripling originally injured his elbow during batting practice on February 21, but he didn’t say anything about it to trainers or coaches. However, he had no choice after he threw two innings in the Dodgers’ first Cactus League game last Wednesday and felt continued discomfort. An MRI confirmed the ligament tear.
A former teammate of Cardinals right-hander Michael Wacha at Texas A&M University, Stripling has a 2.47 ERA and 154/36 K/BB ratio over his first 164 innings in pro ball. The 24-year-old was recently ranked as the organization’s No. 10 prospect by Baseball America. Stripling might have made his major league debut later this year if he continued to progress, but any such talk can now be pushed back to 2015.
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.