Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times gives us the heads up to Clayton Kershaw’s offseason activities: he and his his wife are in Zambia working at an orphanage their charity foundation sponsors:
The small orphanage opened last year, and the Kershaws are there now with a team of 23, bringing additional donations, working on the site and interacting with the first eight orphans … The Kershaws are searching for additional sponsors for the orphans. They wrote that the current eight are sleeping in beds for the first time in their lives.
Kinda puts our complaints about the weather, our post-holidays weight, bowl games, the Hall of Fame and any number of other things in perspective.
If you want to follow the Kershaw’s activities and/or see what you can do to help them with the orphanage, go to their blog here, which is being updated by Ellen Kershaw.
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.