Not a lot of detail on this one yet, but the Brewers have traded righty reliever Carlos Villanueva to the Blue Jays for a player to be named later.
Villanueva pitched in 50 games last year, posting a 4.61 ERA and striking out 67 guys in 52 innings. He allows quite a few base runners, however, and for each of the past two years he’s been decidedly “meh,” which is a scientific scouting term that I’m sure I couldn’t explain to you because it’s such a complicated concept.
Still: Villanueva’s strikeout rate last year was unusually high for him, leaping from 7.8 Ks per nine innings in 2009 — which was his norm over the previous few years — to 11.4 last year. Freakish? Or has he figured something out?
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.