Given what has happened with Jim Riggleman and Ozzie Guillen this year, the Mets weren’t going to let Terry Collins enter next season with his contract status in doubt. They picked up the manager’s option for 2013 on Tuesday.
While the Mets are 76-84 despite a big payroll, Collins’ first year on the job has been viewed as a success. Just keeping the team in the neighborhood of .500 through a mountain of injuries has been quite an accomplishment. Collins has kept the team focused in spite of the Francisco Rodriguez and Carlos Beltran trades and injuries to most of the team’s regulars. Incredibly enough, not one Met will end the year having playing in 130 games. Jose Reyes and Willie Harris are the team leaders, having played in 124 games.
Collins, 62, returned to managing this year after an 11-year absence. He’s 520-518 in seven years overall, having led both the Astros and the Angels for three years apiece in the 1990s.
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.