Over at The Platoon Advantage, The Common Man unearths a controversial call from 1952 that led to some familiar-sounding speculation:
“Next Year for the World Series and perhaps for key games during the regular season, baseball may adopt an idea from horse racing and install a ‘photo finish’ camera at first base to double check the umpires.”
It’s a great story. I remember reading about it once. Sadly, The Common Man leaves out the best part: it’s where an 18 year-old Bud Selig says he’d take it all under advisement, assigns the matter to a committee and then forgets it ever happened.
UPDATE: Wezen-Ball went over this territory last year as well. Found guys criticizing umps due to video replay as far back as 1968.
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.