Matt Harrison has been limited to six starts over the past two seasons because of lingering back issues, and now his career might be in jeopardy.
Anthony Andro of FOXSportsSouthwest.com reports that Harrison underwent lumbar disc fusion surgery on Tuesday in Dallas, Texas and “there’s a chance” he won’t recover to the point where he can throw from a mound on a regular basis. The 28-year-old lefty has already been placed on the disabled list and can at least be ruled out though the remainder of 2014.
Harrison signed a five-year, $55 million contract extension with Texas before the 2013 season.
He posted a 3.34 ERA (132 ERA+) in 399 innings between the 2011 and 2012 campaigns.
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.