According to Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star, Royals outfielder Brian Anderson told the club this afternoon that he wants to try pitching.
Anderson inked a minor league contract with the Royals worth $700,000 this winter and was hoping to earn a spot on the 25-man roster this spring as a backup outfielder. He failed to accomplish that goal and now wants to take a different route altogether.
Anderson, 28, batted .243/.328/.347 last season with four home runs and 18 RBI in 202 at-bats between the White Sox and Red Sox while flashing a decent glove in the outfield. He served as a reliever in college.
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.