I tend to think that as the BBWAA gets younger and as more and more steroid era candidates come on the ballot, the writers will ease up a bit and start letting players associated with PED-use — or merely suspected of it — into the Hall. Buster Olney writes something this morning, however, that gives me pause:
There is a perception that as time goes on there will be a softening towards the steroid-era candidates — the players suspected of using performance-enhancing drugs. I disagree with that, strongly, because what has been happening in recent years is that voters are setting their personal precedents — from which few will deviate.
Voters change their mind on players quite often, but do they change their minds on these sorts of principles? I’m somewhat skeptical that they do and I fear that Olney’s words may be prophetic.
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.