Jerry Dipoto of the Diamondbacks and Tony LaCava of the Blue Jays are the two general manager candidates who’ve already interviewed with the Orioles and a third candidate, Dan Jennings, likely won’t be allowed to interview because the Marlins blocked the request.
Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun believes Dipoto is the current favorite to land the job, although for now that seems more based in speculation and connecting the dots than any inside information.
Dipoto is currently Arizona’s senior vice president of scouting and player development and previously served as the Diamondbacks’ interim GM last year, pulling the trigger on trades that sent Dan Haren to the Angels and Edwin Jackson to the White Sox. Before that the 43-year-old spent eight seasons in the majors as a reliever for the Indians, Mets, and Rockies.
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.