Eric Adelson of Yahoo! was in Lakeland and he spoke to Tigers reliever Octavio Dotel. Who is still stinging, apparently, that his efforts to get Miguel Cabrera to be go all rah-rah team leadery during the playoffs last season were unsuccessful:
“You have to step up and say something. Miggy’s more about his game. I don’t see him as a leader … Everybody has their eyes on Miggy Cabrera.”
This echoes what Dotel said last fall. And while, sure, you’d like to see your best player be your team leader, Cabrera has never been that guy. He’s reported by everyone to be a quiet, sometimes even introverted type. He is not a likely candidate to lead a team motivational meeting. Especially on a team with a manager like Jim Leyland, guys like Prince Fielder and, as of this year, Torii Hunter.
You’d think that Dotel would know that by now. And that there is zero upside and a lot of downside to saying stuff like this to the press. But then again, Dotel has been on 13 teams in 14 seasons as a big leaguer. I’m guessing that fact and these kinds of comments are somewhat related.
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.