Pedro Florimon started 127 games at shortstop for the Twins last season and was their Opening Day starter this year, but after hitting .108 in 25 games he’s been demoted back to Triple-A.
Rookie call-up Danny Santana is now in line for an extended look at shortstop, although based on his Double-A and Triple-A numbers he’s far from MLB-ready despite a nice start to his big-league career. Eduardo Escobar is another option and the Twins also called up former Yankees shortstop Eduardo Nunez to fill a bench role.
As for Florimon … this may have been his only real shot at a starting gig. He’s never hit at all, in the minors or majors, and his glove isn’t quite great enough to make up for the extreme lack of offense. He got a longer leash with the Twins than he probably would have gotten with any of the other 29 teams.
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.