Dave Hansen was fired as the Dodgers’ hitting coach last month, but the Mariners have hired him to fill the same job.
Hansen replaces Chris Chambliss, who last month became the ninth hitting coach fired by the Mariners since 2000. In other words Hansen is stepping into a pretty tough job, although Seattle moving in the fences at Safeco Field should help the team’s raw offensive numbers some.
Hansen became the Dodgers’ hitting coach in the middle of last season after the team fired Jeff Pentland. Pentland found a new job as a Triple-A hitting coach for the Mariners and was added to the coaching staff in September to work alongside Chambliss. There was some thought that Pentland would get the job once Chambliss was fired, but instead a team has opted for Hansen over for him for the second time in 18 months.
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.