In his first game since being sent down by the Rangers, catcher Taylor Teagarden went deep three times and drove in seven runs for the Round Rock Express on Sunday.
The huge game gave him five homers in just 22 at-bats in the PCL this season.
Teagarden showed no rust at all despite a lack of action these last three weeks. He played in just two games, collecting four at-bats, in his 16 days with the Rangers.
Teagarden has flashed plenty of power in the majors, too, having delivered 16 homers and 19 doubles in 320 at-bats with the Rangers over the last four seasons. Unfortunately, all of that power came with 130 strikeouts. Since a nice 47-at-bat debut in 2008, he’s hit just .198 with 10 homers and a 111/23 K/BB ratio the last three seasons.
And that’s why the 27-year-old is back in the minors now. While Teagarden is considered average or above average defensively, teams seem to think his issues making contact will prevent him from becoming a quality regular. The Rangers buried him by bringing in Yorvit Torrealba and Mike Napoli over the winter, and no team has stepped up with a significant enough offer to pry him away.
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.