You hear a lot about how ex-ballplayers spend the, oh, 40-60 years of their retirement playing golf. Dante Bichette isn’t most ex-ballplayers. He’s a USTA tennis champ:
Having just thrown a 110-pitch complete game for his adult baseball league, Dante Bichette rushed to Daytona Beach. His team was facing elimination in the United States Tennis Association Florida state tournament this winter.
Showing no signs of fatigue, Bichette and doubles partner Ed LeMasters rallied in a 10-point tiebreaker to advance. The next day, the team won the title.
The dude hits serves at 130 miles per hour, which is apparently pretty good. I hear that he looks even more impressive playing tennis in Denver, but that once you look closely, he’s really not all that great there.
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.