Just thought it worthwhile to check in on the continuing domination of Yasiel Puig, the Dodgers’ super rookie. Last night: 3 for 4, as he raises his batting average to a cool .500 to go along with an on base percentage of .515 and a slugging of .938.
Downside: his early success has led Don Mattingly to move him to the cleanup spot, which meant that he was on deck during the Dodgers’ would-be ninth inning rally last night rather than a part of it. Of course he can’t be everywhere and at some point Nick Punto and Mark Ellis have to hit. Which is pretty much why the Dodgers are where they are this season, frankly.
Only one walk so far for Puig. One wonders if that will increase now that he’s farther down in the lineup. Or if teams are simply going to start throwing him garbage all the time to see if he chases it.
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.