After coming out of retirement to pitch well for the Yankees last season and then deciding to return this season on a one-year, $12 million contract Andy Pettitte is dropping hints that he might keep going for a while.
“I’m loving being back,” Pettitte said, via Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York. “If I stay healthy, I feel like I can pitch for a long time. It doesn’t mean I want to, but I feel like I could.”
Pettitte will be 41 years old soon and missed three months last season when a line drive broke his leg, so the staying healthy part may prove difficult. But there’s no doubt that his performance last season–which included a 2.87 ERA and his best strikeout rate since 2004–was that of a pitcher who has plenty left in the tank.
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.