Multiple reports out of Boston that the Red Sox have hired Pedro Martinez to be a special assistant to to GM Ben Cherington.
I have no idea what most special assistants do, but I imagine that he’ll do much the same for the Red Sox that Sandy Koufax will do in his new job as special assistant to the Dodgers. Spring training instruction. Be a team ambassador. Be a guy who knows oodles about baseball and is now, because of his job, always reachable. There’s probably a lot of value in that, actually.
Also: I think of Pedro as being a modern Koufax, so I like that both of them got basically the same gig in the past week.
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.