I’m in the process of writing up a bunch of phony, snarky predictions for 2011 for the Rotoworld annual. It’s thus rather refreshing to read some actual predictions for 2011 that are backed by some genuine baseball thought. The thinker is Joe Sheehan, and some of his predictions are going to rile some of you:
- The Phillies will not be as dominant as you think;
- The Orioles will be a (sorta) contender;
- There will be tons of trades;
- No managers will be fired;
- Ticket prices will fall;
- There will be greater parity; and
- The Red Sox will win it all.
For the reasons — and I agree with more of them than I disagree with — you have to click the link. Good stuff.
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.