Sunday Night Baseball this weekend features the Cardinals and Dodgers, and things had been lined up for All-Star starter Adam Wainwright to face off against the man some people felt should have gotten the starting nod, reigning Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw.
But the great matchup won’t happen.
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny spoke to Wainwright about how he felt following the one-inning appearance in the All-Star game and has decided to push back his first start of the second half until next week. Kershaw, meanwhile, also threw one inning in the All-Star game and, for now at least, is scheduled to start Sunday night for the Dodgers.
Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch notes that Wainwright skipped one turn in the rotation earlier this season to rest a sore elbow and doing so again will give him at least 10 days between starts and “a chance to rest now and roar through the remainder of the season.”
Fair enough, but damn that would have been a lot of fun to watch (although a Kershaw vs. Carlos Martinez matchup Sunday is pretty nice too).
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.