According to Jeff Zrebiec of the Sun, Orioles President Andy MacPhail putting his hitters on notice. Produce, or get sent down:
“While you can give them some allowance for the quality of pitching that
we’ve faced, our patience isn’t inexhaustible. There is going to come a time where we’re going to be obligated to keep
making changes in terms of offensive personnel, and they’re going to get
the opportunity to head to Norfolk and hone their swings
because they’re not doing anything to help us now . . . It’s not a suicide pact. They either have to start performing or they’ll
go to Norfolk.”
This applies to basically everyone, it would seem. Luke Scott stinks so far this year. So does Adam Jones. And Nolan Reimold. Cesar Izturis has been a special brand of stank as well.
This just can’t happen on a team that was supposed to be OK-to-possibly-frisky on offense but still developing in the pitching department. When guys simply aren’t doing what they should be expected to do you’re left with little choice but to send someone down or throw a bag of bats into the shower or 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.