I was watching the Angels-Twins game last night when Minnesota television analyst Bert Blyleven advised Francisco Liriano to “throw the slider to this big donkey.”
Liriano obliged and Mark Trumbo hit the ball approximately 700 feet for a three-run homer.
It was Trumbo’s 21st homer, which ranks eighth in the AL and is very impressive pop from a rookie. On the other hand, Trumbo is old for a rookie at 25 and his power comes with a ghastly .297 on-base percentage and 80/19 K/BB ratio.
Trumbo is on pace to hit 30 homers with an on-base percentage below .300, which is something only 17 hitters in baseball history have accomplished. Actually, only 14 different hitters, since Dave Kingman did it four times. Here’s the list of 30-homer, sub-.300 OBP seasons during the past 20 years:
YEAR OBP HR
Mike Jacobs 2008 .299 32
Chris Young 2007 .295 32
Tony Batista 2004 .272 32
Jeromy Burnitz 2003 .299 31
Jose Valentin 2004 .287 30
Oddly, no one hit 30 homers with a sub-.300 OBP during the 1990s, but it happened five times in the 2000s and seven times in the 1980s.
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.