No official word yet, but Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors reports that Pat Burrell will announce his retirement following a 12-year career.
Burrell got back on track after a miserable one-and-a-half season stint with the Rays, returning to the NL with the Giants while hitting .259 with 25 homers and an .827 OPS in 560 plate appearances.
Those numbers basically match his career marks, but Burrell’s foot problems made staying in the lineup difficult and his lack of defensive value likely would have made it tough to land a full-time job anyway.
Burrell never quite developed into the superstar many projected from the No. 1 overall pick in the 1998 draft, as his offense was very good rather than great and his defense dragged down his overall value, but he smacked 20-plus homers nine times and among all active right-handed hitters with at least 5,000 plate appearances his .834 OPS ranks 11th.
And now Burrell–or at least his alter ego “The Machine”–will have plenty of time to play dress-up with Brian Wilson.
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.