Luis Valbuena: Back As Soon As Tomorrow Night?

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Updated: May 1, 2017

Angels’ corner infielder Luis Valbuena signed a two-year, $15 million pact with the team in the offseason. After an untimely right hamstring injury prevented him from making the Opening Day roster, rumor has it that he could be back as soon as tomorrow per Marcos Grunfeld.

Given that first baseman C.J. Cron is on the DL for a short block of time, Valbuena is a sure lock to be at first. There is not even a debate there. The Venezuelan has been amidst a rehab assignment in the Inland Empire to get a feel for his swing again. The rehab assignment has gone rather well all things considered. Valbuena is sporting a .348 batting average with the 66ers. Three of his eight hits have gone for extra bases.

The Halos have played against Valbuena in the past. In 2015 and 2016, the left-handed bat saw a lot of action with the Houston Astros. What is interesting is that those two years were arguably the best of his career. Valbuena has amassed 38 round-trippers and 96 RBIs over that span. Last year he set a career high by posting a .260 batting average.

The Halos signed Valbuena precisely for this reason. He grants the ball club’s lineup with an added dose of power from the left side of the plate. In all likelihood, Valbuena will be penciled in behind future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols. Due to the thump in his lumber, the former Astro will have to be taken seriously. It will force more hurlers to pitch to Pujols, which could lead to greater success for the team as a whole.

Tomorrow night the Angels kick off a three-game series at Safeco Field. It will not be all fun and games, though. That is for sure. The team will be facing a good one in James Paxton.  Paxton’s numbers further validate that claim. The Mariners’ Canadian southpaw currently occupies a 3-0 record and a highly impressive 1.39 ERA.

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