Jon Hamm is a big St. Louis Cardinals fan and Ryan Fagan of The Sporting News talked to the “Mad Men” star about a bunch of baseball topics, including:
SN: Are you friends with any of the current Cardinals?
HAMM: I know a couple of them. I wouldn’t say “friends” but I’m text pals with (David) Freese and a couple of the guys on the team. I met them at various parties after they won the World Series, and when I did the DVD stuff. I wish I could get back to St. Louis and get to more games. With the unbalanced schedule, it’s harder and harder. They only come out one time to (Los Angeles). It’s a drag. I kind of don’t understand the unbalanced schedule, but that’s where we are.
So, to recap: Don Draper is “text pals” with David Freese and doesn’t like the unbalanced schedule.
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.