UPDATE: Jack Magruder of FOX Sports Arizona says the decision has been made. Gibson will be back.
According to Steve Gilbert of MLB.com new Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers will make an announcement “regarding manager Kirk Gibson and coaching staff” Monday, with the assumption being that Gibson will be named the full-time manager after filling the role on an interim basis for the final 83 games of the season.
Gibson’s winning percentage is actually slightly worse than the .420 mark that predecessor A.J. Hinch posted in one-plus season on the job before being fired, but the former MVP and World Series hero has generally received positive reviews from Diamondbacks players and the media.
Towers and Gibson recently spent time together on a road trip in what the GM described as “a getting-to-know-each-other session.” In addition to apparently keeping Gibson as manager, Towers also successfully kept Jerry Dipoto in the organization after the former interim GM finished runner-up to him in the full-time GM job search.
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.