On the 60-day disabled list with a torn shoulder muscle, Rangers infielder Jurickson Profar has been cleared to swing a bat and is expected to resume a throwing program next week.
However, according to Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas there’s still no official timetable for Profar’s return. Because he’s on the 60-day disabled list he’s not even eligible to rejoin the Rangers’ active roster until late May anyway.
Rangers assistant general manager Thad Levine indicated that the team will play it very safe with Profar’s timetable after perhaps attempting to rush him back too soon during spring training. In his absence they’ve used a combo of journeymen Donnie Murphy and Josh Wilson at second base with predictably poor results, as they’ve hit .220 with one homer and a .588 OPS in 27 games.
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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.