Matt Stairs ties MLB record with 20th career pinch-hit homer

Leave a comment

Matt Stairs homered off the bench last night, delivering the 20th pinch-hit homer of his career to tie Cliff Johnson for the all-time record.
In general most players tend to underperform their usual production when pinch-hitting, but Stairs has had amazing success off the bench throughout his career.
He’s hit .262 with a .369 on-base percentage and .501 slugging percentage in 412 plate appearances as a pinch-hitter, topping his OPS as a starter by 45 points.
By comparison Lenny Harris holds the all-time hits record for pinch-hitters with 212 but was actually pretty awful off the bench, batting .264 with a .317 on-base percentage and .337 slugging percentage in 883 plate appearances.

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

Jamie Squire/Getty Images
5 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.