This isn’t exactly major, as Manny Mota has been only sort of a part time coach for several years, but it’s still the end of an era of sorts for the Dodgers. Bill Shaikin reports:
In recent years, Mota has coached on the field before the game, then changed out of his uniform and headed to the press box to scout the opposing team or work on the Spanish TV broadcast. He no longer coaches the major league hitters or travels with the major league team. With the Dodgers on the road this week, Mota traveled to the minor leagues and appeared at the dedication of a youth baseball field.
Mota is 75 and there’s a whole new regime, so it sort of makes sense. There can be only one Don Zimmer, right? Plus: the article suggests that Mota’s role will be expanded on the Spanish speaking broadcasts, which themselves will be expanding in the Dodgers new TV deal.
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.