Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times gives us a real man-bites-dog story today: Carlos Zambrano compassionately helping a teammate through a rough emotional time:
“Right after I finished pitching, I texted Zambrano, and I was telling him, ‘Man, I don’t know what’s going on,’ ” Silva said. “What he told me in the text was, ‘You just need to forget everything, go out there and pitch and do your thing. You know how to pitch, you did it before, so why can’t you do it again?’ It’s true.’’
Carlos Zambrano: the voice of reason. I like it!
Now excuse me as I tag this post so I can quickly call it up again come May when Zambrano has a meltdown of his own.
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.