Pardon me for the incredibly nerdy way of making this point, but the ratio between Michael Cuddyer’s on-field production and the amount of press he’s received is way out of whack. Hardly anyone has talked about the guy, yet he rates as baseball’s fifth-best hitter overall, going by weighted on-base average (.424 wOBA). In fact, there isn’t a better hitting outfielder in baseball and the only ones who come close are teammate Carlos Gonzalez (.410) and Mike Trout (.399).
Cuddyer had three hits in four trips to the dish last night against the Mets, bumping his hitting streak up to 24 games. Dante Bichette had held the club record with a 23-game hitting streak. Cuddyer has also reached base in each of his last 43 games, breaking a record held previously by Todd Helton and Andres Galarraga at 41 games.
It may not be sustainable, but you can’t argue with his .351/.402/.597 slash line right now. The 34-year-old is deserving of his second career All-Star nomination.
Update: Cuddyer hit a two-run home run off of Giants starter Barry Zito in the third inning tonight, extending his hitting streak to 25 games and his on-base streak to 44 games.
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.