Adrian Beltre went 2-for-3 with a double against Dan Haren last night, continuing his career-long dominance over one of the best starters in baseball.
Beltre has now faced Haren in a total of 56 plate appearances and he’s batted .460 with 10 extra-base hits and six walks for a ridiculous 1.278 OPS.
What makes that ownage especially remarkable is that Haren is a right-handed pitcher who usually shuts down right-handed hitters and Beltre is a right-handed hitter who typically fares much worse versus righties than lefties.
Haren has held all right-handed hitters not named Beltre to a .256 batting average and .699 OPS for his career, while Beltre has hit .269 with a .776 OPS versus all right-handed pitchers not named Haren. Yet put them together and … boom!
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.