Don Baylor — recently let go by the Rockies — has agreed to terms with the Diamondbacks to take over as their hitting coach. Baylor had hoped to be considered for a manager job, but that doesn’t seem to be in the cards. I imagine part of it is that he’s always been perceived as a decent hitting coach and never knocked anyone’s socks off when he was manager. And that he hasn’t managed for eight years. Alas.
Apropos of nothing, I had a reason to be looking back at Baylor’s playing career recently, and was rather shocked to see that he stole 52 bases one year. I remember Baylor as a portly DH first and pretty darn portly manager second, so the image of a speedy Baylor — that apparently existed just before I started to become really aware of what was going on in baseball — has been knocking around my head all week, struggling to gain
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.