The Astros confirmed today what we learned a week ago, specifically that Roger Clemens will have an increased role with club’s major league and minor league pitchers in 2013, including spring training and the regular season. This is part of the personal services contract that the seven-time Cy Young Award winner agreed to under former Astros owner Drayton McLane.
On the heels of today’s announcement, Clemens sat down with Steve Bunin of CSNHouston.com for an exclusive interview which touched on a wide range of topics, including his thoughts on receiving just 36.7 percent of the vote in his first year of eligibility for the Hall of Fame. Check it out below.
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.