Some disappointing news here for the Red Sox.
According to beat writer Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald, outfielder Shane Victorino — who had been aiming to return from the disabled list this Friday night — has hit a setback in his rehabilitation from hamstring and back ailments and there is no longer a timetable for his activation. It’s lingering back soreness that is stalling his progress this time around. It was general stiffness that caused him to be scratched from a game at Triple-A Pawtucket last week.
Victorino has been out since May 24 and could now be out through the All-Star break. Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston suspects that the Red Sox might soon turn to prospect Mookie Betts, who is batting .321/.402/.457 at Triple-A Pawtucket and making swift progress in his transition from second base to center field.
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.