Yasiel Puig defected from Cuba last year. Earlier, however, he had made a failed attempt. Jeff Passan spoke with the Coast Guard crew which intercepted the boat in which he tried to reach the United States in April 2012 and it’s a great story.
While the Coast Guard declined to release specific information about the interdiction of Puig’s boat, conversations with six men aboard the Vigilant at the time gave Yahoo! Sports an in-depth look into a nearly two-week sliver of Puig’s life. Though this was not his final voyage, it offers the greatest insight yet of his tortuous journey to Dodger Stadium.
“He stood out from the group,” Hoschak said. “The conditions he was in on that boat were terrible. He’s got his stuff in a garbage bag. Not really enough food. You can tell.”
From that to Puig Mania in just over a year.
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.