Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times is at it again. Last time out he listed the ten worst career-ending performances. This time he trains his historical eye at the ten weirdest performances to end a career.
The first one he lists — John Kruk’s — is the best. I don’t think I ever knew this, but apparently Kruk stopped playing exactly when he did — and I mean right down to the last mid-game at bat — because he wanted to preserve his .300 career batting average. And as Chris reminds us, Kruk tore Jose Reyes a new one for asking out of his last game this season in order to ensure his batting title.
A sports talking head maintaining an inconsistent position on a given topic based on the identity of the player involved?! That’s unpossible!
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.