Ernesto Frieri was plenty dominant with the Padres, throwing 108 innings with a 2.33 ERA and 11.4 strikeouts per nine innings, but what the reliever has done since being traded to the Angels is just silly.
Frieri, who was acquired from San Diego for prospects Alexi Amarista and Donn Roach on May 3, has thrown 12 innings with a 0.00 ERA. But wait, there’s more. He’s faced 47 batters and has yet to allow a hit while striking out 25 of them.
His control has been spotty with 10 walks, but opponents are batting .000 with a .261 on-base percentage and a .000 slugging percentage off Frieri. And a bullpen that was once a weakness for the Angels is now a strength, playing a big part in the team’s dramatic turnaround.
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.