Yesterday an MLB official told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that Ryan Braun’s 50-game suspension is likely to be upheld, but general manager Doug Melvin said today that the Brewers have yet to get any sort of official word from MLB.
In speaking to Adam McCalvy of MLB.com, Melvin said: “We’re not involved with it. We can’t do anything about it. Everything comes from the Commissioner’s Office.”
McCalvy speculates that Braun’s suspension being upheld would make the Brewers more likely to sign Japanese outfielder Norichika Aoki and their 30-day window to negotiate with him ends January 17. Presumably by that point they’ll have some kind of update on Braun’s status from MLB, but as of now an appeal hearing hasn’t even been set and Milwaukee is still hoping to conduct an in-person workout with Aoki.
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.