Kevin Kouzmanoff spent part of last season at Triple-A and he’ll begin this season back in the minors, as the Royals sent him down as part of their latest round of cuts.
Kouzmanoff hasn’t been the same since the Padres traded him in January of 2010, which is odd because calling pitcher-friendly Petco Park home in San Diego always hurt his raw production quite a bit.
He was traded to the A’s and hit just .242 with a .666 OPS in 189 games, was even worse in limited action with the Rockies after that, and couldn’t win a spot on the Royals’ bench this spring.
He’s still just 30 years old and Kouzmanoff crushed Triple-A pitching last year, but at this point he fits best as a platoon corner infielder and the Royals weren’t going to bench Eric Hosmer or Mike Moustakas versus lefties.
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.