In response to Ken Rosenthal’s column on the possible imminent end to Don Mattingly’s career in Los Angeles, Bill Shaikin reports thusly:
The Dodgers have “no plans” to fire Manager Don Mattingly when the team returns home Thursday or any time before then, a club official said late Sunday night.
So he’s safe. That is, unless the Dodgers are crazy-impulsive. Crazy-impulsive people do things without “plans” all the time. Like, say, drive to Canada the morning after some heavy drinking. Or get a tattoo while on vacation. Or trade for the most expensive players on a losing, in-fighting team late in the season.
You know, insane, last minute things.
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.