VelocityGames: they’re not just for Michael Pineda and Roy Halladay anymore! Would you believe, Ubaldo Jimenez? From the Akron Beacon-Journal:
A scout employed by an opposing team who watched Ubaldo Jimenez struggle against the Reds on Saturday almost couldn’t believe his radar gun. “His fastball was 89-91 [mph],” the scout said. “He might have touched 92 once or twice, but his slider was flat. He also looked like his mind was somewhere else. I haven’t seen him like that in two years.”
He was up in the mid-90s two years ago. Last year he was down in the low 90s. Yes, IIOSTSLNMABDAVYOK,* but if he can’t even sustain that, Jiminez is gonna get hammered.
*It is only spring training so let’s not make a big deal about velocity yet, ok?
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.