Kyle Farnsworth had been slated to begin the season at Triple-A after signing a minor-league deal with the Mets, but Bobby Parnell’s elbow injury opened up a spot in the bullpen.
Jose Valverde is expected to take over as the Mets’ closer, but they’ve recalled Farnsworth from the minors to fill a setup role. And if/when Valverde struggles it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Farnsworth get a crack in the ninth inning just based on his veteran-ness and previous closing experience for the Rays (brief as it was).
Farnsworth is 38 years old and threw just 38 innings for the Rays and Pirates last season, posting a 4.70 ERA and 28/10 K/BB ratio.
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.