Via Dodger Thoughts, comes word from Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw that his great uncle discovered Pluto. No real context there. Kershaw just asserts it in response to a question about, um, Pluto. OK, I’m guessing that was a plant by someone who knew that Kershaw’s uncle discovered Pluto. If Wikipedia is to be believed, Kershaw’s uncle is either Clyde Tombaugh — who is credited with the discovery — or Percival Lowell, who captured the first photos, though he didn’t know it at the time. If Kershaw is related to Lowell, my opinion of him just went way down, because really it was Tombaugh who put two and two together.
Er, yeah, this may stretch the boundaries of what constitutes baseball news, but (a) you learned something today; and (b) the next time you see Clayton Kershaw, you’re going to think of Pluto, and that has to count for something.
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.