Another rite of spring: puffing up the value of some new acquisition. Here’s Astros’ GM Ed Wade on what new third baseman Pedro Feliz brings to the table:
Feliz started at third base in the past two
World Series with Philadelphia, and also appeared in the 2002 Series
with San Francisco. He’s played in 10 postseason series and 37 playoff
games in his career.
“If other players are paying attention, they can
just see that this guy has been through the battles, he knows what it
takes to get to the finish line,” Astros general manager Ed Wade said.
“Having been there and having that understanding of what it takes to
get there is a big plus, and other players can feed off that.”
If simply hanging around winners brought value, teams would have lined up to sign Luis Sojo, Clay Bellinger, Mark Lemke or Charlie Silvera back in the day, all of whom, by Wade’s definition, knew “what it took to get to the finish line.”
Here in the real world people know that, unless he brought Ryan Howard, Chase Utley or Barry Bonds to Houston with him in his suitcase, Pedro Feliz’s postseason experience isn’t going to do much of anything to hep the Astros.
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.