Detroit needs a starter for Tuesday’s game and the Tigers have decided to call up 22-year-old prospect Robbie Ray for his big-league debut.
Ray was acquired from Washington as part of the Doug Fister swap this offseason and, in an amusing little twist, he’ll be making his Tigers debut exactly one day before Fister is scheduled to come off the disabled list and make his Nationals debut.
Ray earned the call-up by posting a 1.59 ERA through five starts at Triple-A, with a 21/5 K/BB ratio in 28 innings. Last season between Single-A and Double-A the left-hander had a 3.36 ERA and 160 strikeouts in 142 innings. And now he’ll face the Astros in his debut.
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.