Nyjer Morgan was asked how the Brewers are gonna do without Prince Fielder. This stuck out:
“It’s probably going to be a little more speedy this year,’’ Morgan said. “You can see that we’re going to have to rely on trying to steal bags and stuff like that, and not worrying about trying to hit those gaps all the time.
The Brewers led the NL in homers (and slugging percentage) last season. Prince Fielder hit 38 homers last year. The Brewers’ new third baseman, Aramis Ramirez, hit 26. I know you can’t play simply swapsies with this sort of thing, but if you had swapped Fielder for Aramis Ramirez then, they still would have been tied for second in homers in the league.
Losing Prince Fielder is going to change some things for Milwaukee. But it’s not gonna transform the team from one that hits for power to the 1985 St. Louis Cardinals or something. Even if that would be better for Nyjer Morgan’s game.
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.