Toronto first baseman Edwin Encarnacion is headed to the disabled list with a strained quadriceps muscle, which actually qualifies as relatively good news considering how bad his injury appeared to be when he was helped off the field Saturday.
Unfortunately it still means Encarnacion will miss the All-Star game after being an easy choice for a reserve spot by manager John Farrell. No word yet on who’ll replace him on the American League roster, but to replace Encarnacion on their roster the Blue Jays have called up Nolan Reimold, whom they claimed off waivers from the Orioles yesterday.
It’ll be impossible to replace Encarnacion’s bat. Not only has he hit .277 with 26 homers and a .959 OPS in 88 games this season to rank among the league’s top five in on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS, total bases, homers, and RBIs, he’s been one of the best power hitters in baseball dating back to 2012.
Reimold was once a top prospect, but injuries have derailed his career and the Orioles let the 30-year-old go for nothing rather than using him as a part-time bench player.
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.