The Indians announced a wave of roster moves this afternoon. In addition to designating utility man Elliot Johnson for assignment and placing catcher Yan Gomes on the paternity leave list, they have called up reliever Nick Hagadone and catcher George Kottaras from Triple-A Indianapolis.
Johnson made the Indians out of spring training, but he’s getting the boot after hitting just .105 (2-for-19) with two doubles and seven strikeouts in seven games. As for Gomes, he’s permitted to be away from the team for 24 to 72 hours.
Hagadone, 28, owns a 5.59 ERA over 72 relief appearances in the majors. Kottaras latched on with the Indians after being released by the Cubs at the end of spring training and could stick around even after Gomes returns.
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.