A’s closer Sean Doolittle resumed throwing Tuesday for the first time since being placed on the disabled list with a strained intercostal muscle on August 24.
Joe Stiglich of CSNBayArea.com reports that Doolittle played catch from 90 feet and had no issues, but “there’s no timetable yet for his next step.”
Doolittle is eligible to come off the disabled list Monday and obviously the free-falling A’s would love to get him back as soon as possible, but it’s not realistic until the left-hander is at least throwing off a mound.
Prior to the injury Doolittle was having an incredible season, posting a 2.28 ERA in 54 appearances with an historic 80/5 K/BB ratio in 55 innings.
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.