You know what I don’t much care for? When folks overly-denigrate Derek Jeter. He will be and should be a first ballot hall of famer and stands among the best ever, so it bugs me a bit when people overstate his flaws by way of pointing out that, yes, he does indeed have some flaws.
But I also understand that when most people overly-denigrate Jeter, it’s a reaction to those folks who overly praise him and dismiss his flaws in their entirety. Praise him not unlike Stan McNeal of the Sporting News, in a bit of Jeter fan fiction that has to be read to be believed. The key takeaway: you don’t get to call Derek Jeter critics unfair when you make claims like “Wagner never was regarded as a great defensive player.”
I don’t know that there has ever been a player who was simultaneously overrated and underrated like Derek Jeter is. I guess we’ll have to wait for history to progress a bit more before someone simply and properly rates him.
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.