I’ll admit it: when I got the MLB press release announcing the umpires for the All-Star Game, I secretly hoped that some bad ones would be named so I could write some outraged prose. It’s really good for the soul. Quite cathartic.
Sadly, it appears that baseball has only chosen decent umpires. Or at least ones I have no memory of being in the news in recent years, which is pretty much the same thing as being a decent umpire. Your crew:
Home Plate/Crew Chief: Dale Scott
1B: Jerry Layne
2B: Hunter Wendelstedt
3B: Dan Iassogna
LF: Ed Hickox
RF: Chris Guccione
Here’s hoping you stay mostly anonymous, fellas.
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.