Some troubling news for the Athletics this evening, as Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that A.J. Griffin is feeling continued discomfort in his right elbow and will see Dr. Thomas Mehlhoff in Houston next Tuesday for a second opinion.
Griffin was shut down about five weeks ago due to right flexor tendinitis, an issue which dates back to late last season. He began throwing in the past couple of days, but still doesn’t feel right. These type of injuries are sometimes a precursor to Tommy John surgery, so the Athletics will have to hope that the worst-case scenario is not necessary. They already had Jarrod Parker go under the knife in the spring.
Griffin, 26, owns a 3.60 ERA over his first 47 starts in the majors.
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.