Yasiel Puig was held out of yesterday’s lineup against the Cardinals after he was struck in the left hand with a Joe Kelly curveball on Saturday. Meanwhile, Hanley Ramirez was forced to leave last night’s game after he was hit in the left wrist area by a Trevor Rosenthal fastball. Fortunately for the Dodgers, neither player is dealing with a serious injury:
While that’s good news, both players were held out of tonight’s lineup against the Pirates. With Puig sidelined, Matt Kemp made his first start in right field since 2009. Justin Turner is filling in for Ramirez at shortstop. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly told Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles that Ramirez will not be available to pinch-hit tonight, but that Puig could be.
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.