As Aaron mentioned earlier, three-time Gold Glove center fielder Carlos Beltran announced Monday that he will make the move to right field.
It turns out the switch was a couple seasons in the making.
According to Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal, after Beltran initially developed the bone bruise in his right knee in the summer of 2009, his agent Scott Boras suggested that it might be beneficial for his career to move to move to a less demanding position than center field.
“He said, ‘Later in your career, you have to think about maybe making a move to a corner position,'” Beltran said. “I was like, ‘Why should I make a move?’ And he said, ‘Your bat is important in the game. You’re going to play a good defensive outfield if you’re in the corner. Plus, you’re going to be fresh for the long run.'”
There’s a certain segment of Mets fans who dislike Beltran no matter what he does, so I’m waiting to hear how his decision to move to right field was somehow selfishly motivated. As if he has dollar signs in his eyes instead of the best interests of the team in mind. The truth is, if Beltran can stay healthy, this is the perfect solution for both the team and the player.
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.