Mets minor leaguer Noah Syndergaard, who ranked among the top 20 prospects in baseball coming into the season according to both Baseball America and MLB.com, has been placed on the Triple-A disabled list with a flexor pronator strain in his right elbow.
Any time a young pitcher is shut down with elbow problems that leads to thoughts of Tommy John surgery, but Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reports that for now at least the Mets are referring to the injury as “mild.” He is, however, headed to New York to be examined further by team doctors.
Syndergaard has a 4.02 ERA in 10 starts at Triple-A, which is a lot more impressive than it first appears considering a) he’s one of the youngest players in the entire Pacific Coast League at age 21, and b) Las Vegas is a tremendously hitter-friendly environment to call home. He has 57 strikeouts versus 19 walks in 54 innings, which is very promising considering the context.
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.