Doug Fister got DL’d. But don’t worry: that’s the kind of problem the Tigers pay Jim Leyland the big bucks to address. So Jim, what’s the plan here, dude?
“I have no clue who’s gonna start, absolutely none,” Leyland said Sunday morning. “Villarreal has joined the team and we will have a starter at the appropriate time. Who it is, I have no clue. None.”
That may be disconcerting to Tigers fans, but really, you have to figure that Leyland has some idea, right? I mean if Eric Wedge said something like that it might be cause for concern, but Leyland is on it. Right? Hopefully?
As Jason Beck notes in the linked blog post, there are a number of internal candidates and there is always the option for a trade. Or signing Roy Oswalt, which I think will be mentioned by everyone every single time a team loses a starter this year.
It seems to me, though, that the Tigers are gonna have a bigger margin of error than anyone this season, so going with a minor league arm — or a carousel of them — is probably the best first step.
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.