After leaving yesterday’s game with a dislocated left thumb, Rays second baseman Ben Zobrist has been placed on the 15-day disabled list.
Zobrist suffered the injury on a head-first slide into second base while trying to avoid a tag on a stolen base attempt. He told Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune this evening that he hopes to return in 15 days, but won’t risk a setback by rushing things. The Rays have called up infielder Cole Figueroa to take his place on the active roster, but Sean Rodriguez and Logan Forsythe figure to see most of the playing time at second base for now.
Zobrist, who turns 33 later this month, is batting .260/.352/.364 with three home runs and nine RBI through 40 games this season.
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.