Phillies starter Jake Arrieta had one of the oddest offseasons in recent memory. The 2015 NL Cy Young Award winner wasn’t able to procure a contract until Sunday, 11 days into the month of March. As a result of signing so late, he has missed about four weeks of spring training. As Corey Seidman of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports, however, Arrieta still intends to be ready for the start of the regular season. Arrieta said he has been throwing 50-65 pitch bullpen sessions every two or three days.
Arrieta also said of his conditioning, via Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia, “My body is in tremendous shape. Obviously, I haven’t been in a game yet but I’m a quick learner and I like my chances at getting ready.”
New manager Gabe Kapler reiterated that Aaron Nola will start on Opening Day, something that was announced back on February 25. The Phillies open the season on March 29 in Atlanta against the Braves. Arrieta could pitch the second game on the 30th, or the Phillies could push back his season debut. The Phillies visit the Mets for their second series of the season.
Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner left Monday’s Cactus League game against the Athletics after he was hit by a pitch. He went for X-rays, revealing that he suffered a broken wrist, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports. Shaikin adds that Turner is unlikely to return before May, noting that Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman missed six weeks with a similar injury last year and Astros outfielder George Springer missed nine weeks in 2015.
Needless to say, this is a huge loss for the Dodgers. Last year, Turner hit .322/.415/.530 with 21 home runs and 71 RBI in 543 plate appearances, helping the Dodgers reach the World Series. He made the All-Star team for the first time in his career and finished eighth in NL MVP balloting.
Thankfully, the Dodgers have some versatile players on the roster. Logan Forsythe could move from second base to third, giving Chase Utley more playing time at second. Enrique Hernandez could man the hot corner as well. Chris Taylor has played some third base, or he could shift to second base in Forsythe’s stead. The club should shed some light on how it plans to move forward following Turner’s injury.