Aroldis Chapman wasn’t overly impressive during his minor league rehab assignment, but the Reds have decided to activate him from the disabled list anyway. The hard-throwing left-hander could make his season debut tonight against the Rockies.
Chapman, who suffered facial fractures when he was hit by a comeback during spring training, allowed eight runs on seven hits and two walks while retiring just three batters over two appearances with Triple-A Louisville. Reports on his velocity were encouraging, so it appears that the Reds weren’t too worried about the results. According to C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Reds manager Bryan Price said this afternoon that he’ll move back into the closer role immediately.
Jonathan Broxton has functioned as the fill-in closer for the Reds since coming off the disabled list last month. He blew his first save of the season yesterday against the Rockies.
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.