With the arrival of Gavin Floyd to the starting rotation, the Braves have decided to move Alex Wood to the bullpen, at least for now, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports. Wood will not make Sunday’s scheduled start. However, he will start a week from Saturday and will be available in the bullpen through Wednesday, O’Brien adds.
Wood, 23, posted a 3.00 ERA in seven starts spanning 45 innings. The Braves’ rotation, one through five, has been great though and no matter who was ousted, there would have been a bit of controversy.
Floyd, who underwent elbow surgery last May and had been recovering ever since, allowed one run in seven innings to the Cardinals in his 2014 debut on Tuesday. The Braves signed him to a one-year, $4 million deal in December.
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.