With Anibal Sanchez locked up the Tigers rotation looks pretty spiffy:
Rick Porcello/Drew Smyly
Six legit major league starters for five slots is not a bad position to be in. You can keep ’em all and have some nice pitching depth. Or, if you have some other holes to fill, you could deal one. Which may very well be what Dave Dombrowski plans on doing:
We already heard about the Tigers fielding interest on Porcello, but one wonders if Smyly wouldn’t bring greater value. With only one year under his belt, Smyly already looks pretty good: a good strikeout rate, not particularly lucky on balls in play. In this market a cheap, solid pitcher should bring a lot of value. It’ll be interesting to see what the Tigers do with him.
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.