Padres starter Josh Johnson will start the regular season on the disabled list with a strained flexor muscle, Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times reports. MLB.com’s Corey Brock adds that Johnson is expected to miss a month to five weeks. The right-hander was having a decent spring in limited playing time, posting a 3.38 ERA in 13 1/3 innings.
Johnson had surgery in October to remove a bone spur and loose bodies from his right elbow. The Padres brought him along slowly, having him make his Cactus League debut in early March, but as the sun rises in the East and sets in the West, Johnson suffers an injury. He had two stints on the DL last season with the Blue Jays, dealing with triceps inflammation and a forearm strain. He finished with a 6.20 ERA in 81 1/3 innings.
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.