I rip Jeff Francoeur because I want him to succeed

Leave a comment

At least that’s the story I’m going with after reading this piece about Kevin Kouzmanoff:

And when he was in the Indians’ system, at Triple-A Buffalo, someone
told him he was a bad fielder. Well, he wasn’t told, exactly.

“I read an article that said how poor my defense was,” he said. “I
sort of took that to heart. My footwork wasn’t good, and I had stiff
hands.”

His solution to both problems? “Reps.”

“I just started working on it, and I kept at it until I got better,”
he said. “I don’t remember the guy’s name, but a shout out to whomever
wrote that.”

And you thought writers didn’t add anything to the party.

Snark aside, it’s a pretty nice writeup on Kouzmanoff, who sounds like a ballplayer who takes his craft seriously.

Video: Jake Arrieta hits a 465-foot home run off of Zack Greinke

Jamie Squire/Getty Images
3 Comments

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.

Luis Valbuena to miss four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring

Kent Horner/Getty Images
1 Comment

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.