The Yankees have made a change at backup catcher, activating Francisco Cervelli from the 60-day disabled list and sending John Ryan Murphy back to Triple-A.
Murphy did a solid job playing behind starter Brian McCann, hitting .286 with one homer and a .673 OPS in 24 games, but at age 23 the Yankees probably wouldn’t mind him playing more regularly in the minors and when healthy Cervelli has been a quality backup for several years now.
He sat out two months with a hamstring injury and previously missed a lot of time with a concussion, but Cervelli is a career .269 hitter with a nice .340 on-base percentage in 206 games for the Yankees.
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.