Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero took a few shots at Tigers reliever and former teammate Jose Valverde on Friday night for the closer’s wild antics on the mound. It’s not the first time that an opponent has questioned Valverde’s animated jumps and fist pumps, and we usually don’t get a response from the intimidating ninth-inning man. But Montero must have really hit a nerve.
Here’s what Valverde offered to the Arizona Republic’s Nick Piecoro on Sunday morning:
“Tell Montero he’s a freaking rookie and I can do
whatever I want to. Tell him that. Put
it in the papers. If he wants to do something, tell him to come to my
locker and let me know. … I never liked Montero. He’s a (bleeping) piece of (bleep). … Tell Montero he has two years (in the majors) and I have eight.”
At least he got the service time correct on the second try. Montero fired back:
“He’s dumb. What do you want me to say? He’s smart? No. He’s just dumb.”
The Diamondbacks and Tigers will finish up a three-game interleague series on Monday then won’t meet again for the rest of the season . So if this thing is going to come to fisticuffs, it will have to happen today. Not that we’re rooting for a fight, or anything…
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.