Orioles right-hander Miguel Gonzalez is headed to the disabled list with a strained oblique muscle and they’ve called up prospect Kevin Gausman from Triple-A to replace him on the roster and in the rotation.
Gausman has struggled in the majors so far with a 6.10 ERA in 52 innings between last season and this year, but the former No. 4 overall pick is one of the best pitching prospects around and has excellent raw stuff including a mid-90s fastball.
This could be the opportunity Gausman needs to stick in the big leagues at age 23, although with a 3.68 ERA in 335 career innings Gonzalez has certainly pitched well enough to rejoin the rotation whenever he’s healthy.
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.